Planning Underway for New Shaw Park

Carter G. Woodson Park Panorama

Carter G. Woodson ParkDesign work has begun for a new Carter G. Woodson Park, located in my neighborhood one block from the Carter G. Woodson house at the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue, Q Street, and 9th Streets NW. According to the project’s manager at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, who is overseeing the planning, the project has been delayed due to D.C. Department of Transportation “contracting” problems. According to the National Trust, current designs do not include any seating at the park, but will be designed with future bench additions in mind. The park will feature a larger-than-life sculpture of noted historian Woodson by sculptor Raymond Kaskey. At least one community meeting is planned to get input on the design, and the project is planned to be completed in roughly one year. Today the park is nearly entirely paved and a bus stop has been long removed, both measures I assume were made to discourage loitering and criminal activity.

> NPS: Carter G. Woodson National Historic Site
> National Trust: D.C. Artist to Create Public Art Installation at Carter G. Woodson Park
> See my previous post on D.C. triangle parks

Author: Rob Goodspeed


  1. rob,

    any idea when this meeting might happen? i think the biggest thing that has to be taken into account is that, like everything else in this city, initial construction/repair might be great, but it’s the follow-through and maintenance that REALLY matters. the sad thing is that it will end up looking like trash years down the road unless the neighbors can be convinced to give up some time to help keep things fresh and clean.

  2. First – love your website and thanks for the update…

    Second – this post depresses me…even this little triangle piece of land can’t escape delays and get out of the “design” phase and is a year (or more) away from being completed…It’s a little freakin’ pocket park! How hard can it be…

    Between the delays and the ongoing “design” phases of the O Street Market, Watha T. Daniel library, Convention Center hotel, etc…I’ve hit my limit of hearing about the great things to come in Shaw…

    Not saying design and community input isn’t important, but enough already…

  3. I don’t think any meetings have been scheduled, and have requested to be notified when they happen and will certainly post it here.

    I agree the park can only be successful if the good design is well maintained and programmed — neighborhood ownership will be key to its future success. I’ll also point out that three of the six buildings immediately surrounding the park are currently vacant, which adds to the challenge.

  4. Thanks for the update, Rob!

    I pick up trash in the park somewhat regularly and have weeded it also. I will gladly be a neighborhood steward of this space.

    The surrounding vacant buildings are a challenge. Any word on who owns the building next to the YWCA, if they’re being taxed at the vacant property rate, if there are future plans for it, etc.?

    The soon-to-be-constructed row homes on the corner of 9th and Q will add a lot to the park’s surroundings, as well as some invested neighbors/home owners.

  5. Pocket parks maintained by residents in Manhanttan have fences with locks on them, which are given to the local residents. We should do the same to Bernie Goetz park. I’d love to be able to sit out in a bit of comfortable green and not have to share the space with whores, winos, druggies, and thugs. Remember, no benches.

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