How would you improve the Washington Monument area?
In comparison to the relative clutter of some other areas of the National Mall and adjacent parks, the Washington Monument grounds have the opposite problem: they're a desolate wasteland of grass without shade, amenities, or interesting programming.
That wasn't the original plan. Early concepts for the Washington Monument included a colonnade surrounding the obelisk. It's just as well that didn't happen, since the obelisk is great standing alone, but the McMillan Plan recommended surrounding the Monument with some formal gardens and pools.
Can the monument area be less forbidding to tourists, and something other than a sun-parched forced march between the more tree-filled areas with museums to the east and memorials to the west? What would you like to see in this area?
DCmud reports that the organizers hope to select five finalists by next summer and then let the public vote among them. The agencies with jurisdiction over the area, the National Park Service, NCPC, and the Commission on Fine Arts, haven't endorsed this competition, but perhaps good ideas will gain some traction.
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