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GEORGETOWN CANAL PLAN
NEWS: At a Nov. 2, 2017 public meeting, Georgetown Heritage and the National Park Service (NPS) presented early-stage design concepts for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park through Georgetown. Following the presentation, attendees were invited to provide reactions and discuss the design options.
The designs celebrate the character and history of the C&O Canal NHP while proposing safe, accessible, and intriguing spaces along the Georgetown portion of the canal and within plazas adjacent to the canal. The project's goals are to highlight the canal's unique historic and cultural attributes, biodiversity, and educational and interpretive opportunities.
The presentation and the display boards can be downloaded, and are open for comment until December 11, 2017. Visit the NPS page to download the boards and make your voice heard.
Georgetown Heritage has selected James Corner Field Operations, the celebrated urban design and landscape architecture firm known for New York City’s High Line, to develop the Georgetown Canal Plan, a comprehensive master plan for a one-mile section of the Chesapeake and Ohio National Historical Park (C&O Canal NHP) in Georgetown. The National Park Service (NPS), Georgetown Heritage, and the D.C. Office of Planning will work with the community to restore, reimagine and revitalize this treasured historic place.
“The James Corner Field Operations team brings exceptional ingenuity, boundless energy and extensive experience partnering with cities, parks and community groups to create stunning, lively spaces that reflect each site’s distinct character and maximize its potential to engage people of all ages and cultures,” said Alison Greenberg, Executive Director of Georgetown Heritage.
The design team, which includes MakeDC, Robert Silman Associates, ETM Associates and Dharam Consulting, will develop the Georgetown Canal Plan, which re-envisions this popular section of the canal. Over the next year, Georgetown Heritage and the NPS will seek input and ideas from the community on how to improve the park’s unique stone structures, locks, towpath, plazas and street crossings to maximize the park’s immense educational, recreational and aesthetic potential. The NPS and Georgetown Heritage will provide more information in the coming months about how to get involved.
“The National Park Service is thrilled to partner with this distinguished design team—along with Georgetown Heritage, the City and the community —to realize our vision of the C&O Canal as a picturesque, safe and sustainable historical park where people come to have fun and learn about history, science, nature and art,” said Superintendent Kevin Brandt, C&O Canal NHP. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for Washington, DC, and the Georgetown community to create a transformative public space that blends historic architecture with rich landscapes to create a world-class and unique destination in the heart of the neighborhood,” said James Corner, founder and director of James Corner Field Operations. “The Georgetown section of the C&O Canal NHP should be a landmark park for everyone, a lively center for social gatherings, a continuous link for recreation and contemplation, a connector of neighborhoods and networks and a model for urban livability and human health and wellbeing.”
The Georgetown Canal Plan, along with repairs to Locks 3 and 4, and the launching of a new historic replica canal boat, is the first phase of the C&O Canal NHP’s multi-year restoration. The first phase began in October 2016 and is expected to be completed in summer 2018.