I volunteered for the Annual Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts fair held over two days this past weekend at Union Market in Washington, DC. On the first of many trips back and forth to the car to drop off a load of multiple purchases, I ran into a guy standing by the western gate holding a clipboard and asking me if I wanted to sign a petition. I learned that he was with Friends of McMillan Park and he gave me a brief history of an area of land that I have driven by for the last 22 years. Whether I was criss-crossing the city on Michigan Avenue next to the Washington Hospital Center or barreling down the length of the city on North Capitol Street, I always admired the look of what I thought was just the water reservoir with its low lying silos and fenced in expanse of land. I did not know that I was looking at The Sand Filtration Site which is part of the larger historic McMillan Park Reservoir.
My new friend explained that starting with Mayor Fenty, the city has eagerly wanted to redevelop the land with condominiums, apartments, retail shopping, and parks. Of course many people are against this, and though I didn’t even know this was going on before this past weekend, I am against it too. I signed the petition, and urged anyone I knew at the fair to do the same.
A good friend of mine told me that she went on a tour of the site about a year ago, and a large part of it is underground, which was spectacular to see. The site is now closed to the public, which is unfortunate. I want to see it for myself.
Besides taking a look at the Friends of McMillan website where you can take action and sign their petition, I also learned more on the New Columbia Heights blog which had a post back in June 2013 on the same subject.