Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Redesigning the National Mall

The National Mall is our nation's most-visited national park.  Each year, it gets over 25 million visitors a year and gracefully hosts over 3,000 permitted events.  (For those keeping track at home, that's 69,000 visitors and 8 events a day.)

As a result, "the National Mall has been loved to death," according to the Trust for the National Mall. In order to meet the "needs of all visitors and users... in an attractive, convenient, high-quality, energy-efficient and sustainable manner," the Trust is sponsoring a design competition to redesign the National Mall.

The competition is already underway and many design teams are hard at work with their design for the three main areas of the mall: Union Square, the Washington Monument grounds at Sylvan Theater and Constitution Gardens.

"The National Mall Design Competition is the first step in the implementation of the National Mall Plan," according to Caroline Cunningham, President of the Trust for the National Mall.  "The National Mall Plan is only one of four in the 220-year history of the park and the Trust is excited to steward this next chapter."

The Design Competition is part of the Campaign to Restore the National Mall, an arm of the Trust for the National Mall, which you may recall was the beneficiary of the Rally to Restore Sanity/March to Keep Fear Alive, which reportedly raised about $200,000 for the Mall.  It's the largest public/private partnership in National Park Service's history and will raise $350 million in private funds over seven years, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by federal funds.

The winner will be announced on May 3rd, 2012.

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