Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
August 21, 2003
July 8, 2018
2nd (West) at I, Looking West-Northwest (see more)

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 5TH ST SE   THEFT FROM AUTO
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 08/29/18
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Recent Issued Building Permits Archive  
1108 3RD ST SE   
09/04/18 
JULIANA DUFFY / HERVE BILLIET
SOL1800816 / CONSTRUCTION
This is a new rooftop solar installation for 1108 3rd Street SE, Washington, DC, 20003.
   
09/06/18 
JULIANA DUFFY / null
E1810366 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1015 4TH ST SE   
09/17/18 
GASTON CHAN / KYLE YOST
SOL1800945 / CONSTRUCTION
5.89kw rooftop solar pv system, less than 4' above roof
   
09/19/18 
GASTON CHAN / null
E1810828 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1300 4TH ST SE   
09/07/18 
null / MITCH PERMUY 7274240492
E1810371 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1346 4TH ST SE   
09/07/18 
null / MITCH PERMUY 7274240492
E1810372 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1310 10TH ST SE   
09/10/18 
NAVFAC / BLAINE LINKOUS
EX1800093 / CONSTRUCTION
Federal property at the Washington Navy Yard. Project is for the installation of outside underground utilities including new potable water valves and stormdrain. All work is cut and cover utility install. Sediment controls will be provided.
2 EYE ST SE   
09/18/18 
null
M1803959 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
09/18/18 
null
P1809280 / SUPPLEMENTAL
4 I ST SE   
08/29/18 
CRESCENT COMMUNITIES / MITCH A. PERMUY 727-210-0492
E1809865 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
09/18/18 
JOHN MORIARTY / null
M1803958 / SUPPLEMENTAL
2 I ST SE   
08/29/18 
CRESCENT CAPITAL VIEW LLC / KIM MITCHELL
TL1800059 / CONSTRUCTION
EXPEDITION / VELOCITY PROGRAM - INTERIOR WORK ONLY FULL-SERVICE RESTAURANT WITH 78 SEATS AND 80 OCCUPANTS INDOORS. WITH BUILDOUT OF AN EXISTING COLD DARK SHELL STRUCTURE AT THE GROUND FLOOR OF THE 2 I STREET BUILDING PERMIT B1713380. THE BUILDOUT IS FOR A RETAIL KITCHEN.
   
09/11/18 
MCDONALDS CORPORATION / null
E1810511 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
09/19/18 
MCDONALDS CORPORATION / DONNA G GRAHAM
AH1801319 / CONSTRUCTION
WR #3573836 - VAETH / BRUNO - WARD 6 - 20003 - PEPCO CREWS WILL BE WORKING #2 I ST SE - MAY NEED TO BLOCK "I" ST ON OCCASION TO INSTALL NETWORK TRANSFORMERS AND INSTALL CABLES - CREW WILL BE WORKING AT NIGHTS DURING THE WEEK (MONDAY THRU FRIDAYS) FROM 9PM TO 7 AM - PEPCO CREWS WILL ALSO BE WORKING WEEKENDS (SATURDAY AND SUNDAYS) FROM 6AM TIL 6PM - WORK IS ONGOING
150 I ST SE   
09/10/18 
WILLIAM CSMITH CO / GLENNWOOD ROGERS
M1803857 / SUPPLEMENTAL
418 L ST SE   
09/14/18 
null / NA NA NA
EHOP18998072 / HOME OCCUPATION
202 M ST SE   
09/05/18 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / DANIEL KISER; X
SG1800384 / CONSTRUCTION
Installation of 4 wall mounted signs. 2 @ 26.25 SF and 2 @ 35.5 sf
300 M ST SE   
09/05/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
P1808927 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
09/05/18 
FEDERAL CENTER LP / null
P1808926 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 1ST FL   
09/18/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / null
P1809276 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE 3RD FLOOR   
09/17/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
P1809222 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1100 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
08/30/18 
SQUARE 742 LLC / null
E1810159 / SUPPLEMENTAL
1111 NEW JERSEY AVE SE   
09/07/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / ASHLEY TORRES
TL1800132 / CONSTRUCTION
Tenant Layout to 1st floor for commercial bank use. 3036SF
   
09/10/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / null
M1803863 / SUPPLEMENTAL
   
09/12/18 
GALLERY CAPITOL RIVERFRONT PROPERTY LLC / null
E1810553 / SUPPLEMENTAL
125 O ST SE   
08/29/18 
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA / DAVID T FONTANA
B1803497 / CONSTRUCTION
Revision to issued permit B1700636 for new six story DC WATER HQ office to include: Minor door, ramp and partition changes, corrections to foundation, slab and framing due to field conditions, MEP & FA coordination with other changes, minor changes to landscaping and water utility site work.
71 POTOMAC AVE SE   
08/31/18 
FORIDA ROCK PROPERTIES INC / MITCH PERMUY 7272100492
E1810173 / SUPPLEMENTAL
79 POTOMAC AVE SE   
09/13/18 
RIVERFRONT HOLDINGS I LLC / JOHN HOMICK 301-390-4800
E1810571 / SUPPLEMENTAL
221 TINGEY ST SE   
09/10/18 
KELLY THORNBURG / GLENNWOOD ROGERS
M1803850 / SUPPLEMENTAL
227 TINGEY ST SE   
09/07/18 
FOREST CITY WASHINGTON / DFM DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, LLC
AH1801286 / CONSTRUCTION
Yards Parcel L-2. Afterhours permit for precast concrete fa├žade panel installation. Work to take place from 7pm on 9 / 24 / 2018 to 7am on 9 / 25 / 2018.
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