Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

I've been to a fair number of ribbon cuttings over the past decade, and I have to say that Friday's opening of Canal Park seemed to be infused with a level of excitement and joy that I don't think I've seen at any of the others.
While getting Nationals Park open in 2008 was a triumph of speed and scale, the 13-year journey of the three-block park at the heart of Near Southeast required so many hands and so much patience and resulted in a space with which the stakeholders are clearly thrilled that it shouldn't really be a surprise that on a gorgeously crisp late fall day so many attendees were walking around with what Tommy Wells described as "a huge smile on their face."
The speakers standing at a podium in the center block's small pavilion ran through the list of names and agencies that brought the park to fruition, starting with developer William C. Smith, whose CEO Chris Smith started the long drive to build the park, creating the Canal Park Development Association back in 2000. Then there was money from the federal government and the DC government, additional dollars and much support from the DC Housing Authority, work by OLIN landscape architects and STUDIOS architecture to design the park with innovative sustainable development and storm water management components (and a skating rink!). Props were given for the hiring of Housing Authority residents for 15 of the park's 25 part-time jobs.The Capitol Riverfront BID and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities also took bows for their parts in the park's creation (and future).
After the speeches, the festivities moved to the skating rink, where the ribbon was cut and Mayor Gray drove the Zamboni, and then the public laced up its skates and got out on the ice. And they kept skating, well into the night. (And I have no doubt there will be big crowds at the rink and park today as well.) For all the happiness seen in the park's founders about getting it finally opened, I saw equal measures of surprise and cheer that so many residents and neighborhood office workers had come to the opening, had stayed through the long speechifying, and now were skating and strolling.
I've joked that I sure have been saying the word "finally" a lot lately--the trash transfer station is finally demolished, Kruba Thai is finally open, Gordon Biersch finally admitted they're coming to 100 M, Vida Fitness is finally announced, Capitol Quarter is finally finished.... But it's the "finally" of Canal Park opening that hit me more than I expected, perhaps similarly to all those happy stakeholders.
I took a lot of photos of fenced-off schoolbuses in the early years, posted a lot of renderings (some for the park's first design that never materialized), and bugged a lot of people to find out the latest. It was, after all, one of the few projects that was already in planning when I started tracking Near Southeast in early 2003, along with the Capper redevelopment and Capitol Hill Tower.
And now the park is open (with the Park Tavern restaurant to follow "within a few weeks"), and everybody can enjoy it. Finally!
Hope you'll check out my photo galleries of the park, yesterday's ceremonies, and the park's opening night, along with my expanded gallery of before-and-afters from around the park (with some that I still need to fill in, oops). And you can also see coverage from the Post, NBC4, and WJLA. And the lineup of today's events and other details on the park's official web site. And tell us what you think of the park.
Comments (5)
   
 
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SBS says: (11/17/12 11:50 PM)
JD: These photos are such a wonderful landmark. Thank you for taking us all along with you on this journey. The park is gorgeous and really capture the vision of the future you feel in so many ways around DC. I may have to learn to skate!


Jaybird says: (11/18/12 8:54 AM)
JD,

Your night photo of the rink with the Capitol in the background is priceless!



Jaybird says: (11/18/12 8:58 AM)
And some remind of the Rockefeller Center.


MalS says: (11/19/12 5:13 PM)
Great work, JD - I was at the park Friday and it is a very exciting step for the area. The park is very beautiful and will only get more so as plantings mature. What a time for near Southeast! As always, thank you for the remarkable documenting that you achieve.


JeffreyGordon says: (11/19/12 11:46 PM)
JD, thanks for the update as usual! I am planning on being in town after the first of the year and really look forward to seeing all the progress since I was last there in july of 2010. I really appreciate any/all updates from you.

jg

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1100 B/O NEW JERSEY AVE SE   SEX ABUSE
First Degree Sexual Abuse
 04/17/18
400 B/O M ST SE   THEFT
Shoplifting
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100 B/O K ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
Theft (theft From Motor Vehicle)
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Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1331 2 ST SE   
04/02/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / MARK HARLOW CLIFFORD
SB1800225 / CONSTRUCTION
Application for Well Abandonment Workplan Approval for the abandonment of 8 monitoring wells and 21 inclinometers at the Main Pumping Station site for the DC Water Clean Rivers Project, Division I, installed under Permit Number SB1400419.
1331 2ND ST SE 20003   
04/05/18 
DC WATER / DAVE LEVINE
AH1800744 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours work for structure excavation in support of DC Water, Corrman Construction 301-343-5417.
1346 4TH ST SE   
04/10/18 
ALAN OWINGS / ROBERT HENRY
AH1800796 / CONSTRUCTION
After Hours Permit for 04 / 16 / 18 from 9AM to 7PM to perform facade, interior unit framing and drywall work, and interior Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Sprinkler Rough-In.
1346 4TH ST ST SE 20003   
03/28/18 
FOREST CITY / TYLER D BARRON
AH1800712 / CONSTRUCTION
After hours for 4 / 13 / 18 to 5 / 12 / 18. Work that is to be done is quiet work of window deliveries at 5:30AM to 7:00AM by use of tower crane
82 I ST SE   
04/02/18 
GDVC EYE STREET LLC / null
FB1800055 / SUPPLEMENTAL
150 I ST SE   
03/28/18 
null
E1805313 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
03/29/18 
null / JOHN THOMSON 3018645080
E1805337 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE 400   
04/09/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
M1801970 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE STE# 400 20024   
04/05/18 
CHARLES SMITH / EUGENE AHNS 3012811497
E1805597 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE STE# 400   
04/12/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
P1805161 / SUPPLEMENTAL
140 M ST SE   
03/26/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
P1804630 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 M ST SE   
03/26/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / JERRY BETHEA
M1801846 / SUPPLEMENTAL
401 M ST SE   
04/03/18 
TETRA TECH C/O DOEE / JESSICA REICHARD
AH1800767 / CONSTRUCTION
After hours permit for manhole access to complete inspections for DOEE Anacosta River Sediment clean up project, work hours between 7pm and 7am Monday thru Friday. Rolling work zones for all manhole access under permit # PA10374319-R1
800 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/05/18 
SQUARE 737 LLC / null
P1804974 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
04/09/18 
SQUARE 737 LLC / null
E1805700 / SUPPLEMENTAL
861 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/02/18 
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / NA CSX TRANSPORTATION, INC.
AH1800715 / CONSTRUCTION
Work in public ROW within the Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction Project LOD for utility, demolition, and concrete structure construction activities.
   
04/11/18 
CONSOLIDATED RAIL CORPORATION / DEVIN MURDOCK
SB1800265 / CONSTRUCTION
Drill 8 borings to 40ft. Convert 4 borings into 1" temporary wells, collect groundwater from each well and abandon borings.
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/13/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / CLIFFORD DIXON
B1804348 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR RENOVATIONS TO OFFICE SPACE ON THE 5TH FLOOR. **DEMOLITION, LEVEL 2 ALTERATION
1115 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
04/06/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / ACCUPERMIT LLC AS AGENT
B1803009 / CONSTRUCTION
Interior alterations for new tenant in existing commercial space to include partitions, mill work, electrical and plumbing fixtures, flooring and wall coverings, dining area furniture and kitchen equipment for a A-2 restaurant with 49 proposed occupancy.
125 O ST SE   
03/29/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / JAMES M. HALLER
P1804624 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
04/09/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1801762 / SHOP DRAWING
I New G2S Elevator - 3500LBS @ 200FPM (7 Floors)
   
04/09/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1801763 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New G2S Elevator - 3500LBS @ 200FPM (6 Floors)
   
04/09/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / TAMIKA STATON; OTIS
EN1801761 / SHOP DRAWING
Install 1 New G2S Elevators 4000LBS @ 200FPM (7 Floors)
71 POTOMAC AVE SE   
03/26/18 
FORIDA ROCK PROPERTIES INC / null
BCIV1800074 / CONSTRUCTION
This permit is for rough grading and erosion and sediment control civil work associated with the temporary parking lot, relocation of the dog park and construction staging area on the undeveloped portion of the lot.
227 TINGEY ST SE   
03/28/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / ERICKA CLARK
AH1800760 / CONSTRUCTION
significant concrete pours and tower crane erection 5AM - 7AM and 7PM - 10:00PM
   
04/12/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / STEPHEN J. EXELBERT
P1805022 / SUPPLEMENTAL
300 TINGEY ST SE   
04/12/18 
MERCURY LLC / WILL TEASS
B1803433 / CONSTRUCTION
INTERIOR FIT-OUT / EXTENSION OF EXISTING TENANT SUITE (APPROVED UNDER B1605215) INCLUDING NEW MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL WORK. **LEVEL 2 ALTERATION
AH = After Hours; B = Alteration & Repair; D = Demolition; E = Electrical; FB = Boiler; M = Mechanical; P = Plumbing and Gas; PC = Post Card; R = Raze; SG = Sign; TL = Tenant Layout; TN = Tent; RW = Retaining Wall;

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