Washington Canal Park

Named for the historic Washington Canal, which provided a water-borne connection between the Anacostia River and the Potomac River via the National Mall. Delays in removing the school buses that use two of the park's blocks as a parking lot lasted for years, but on April 4, 2009, the buses were relocated to a new lot at DC Village, and in May 2009 the three blocks began being cleared of asphalt and fences (and trees). In early 2009 Olin was chosen to create a new design for the park. Construction began in spring 2011, and it opened on Nov. 16, 2012.

CanalParkDC.org - Official Web Site | Twitter Feed | Restaurant Deal Announced (11/17/11)
Olin | Ceremonial Groundbreaking, August 31, 2010 | Garfield Park - Canal Park Connector Path Project
Canal Park Check Presentation, April 2007 (DC16 Video) | Canal Park Concept Submission to NCPC (Original design, Nov. 2006)
2004 Design Competition Web Site | Mayor Williams Announces Design Competition Winner (12/10/04) | Someday in the Park (WBJ, 10/11/04)
JD's Canal Park News Items

            Overview/JD's Photos            Canal Park News Items            

For a complete set of Before-and-After photos from around the park's perimeter,
see my Canal Park Expanded Photo Archive.

Looking north across the park's footprint in spring 2013, seven months after the park opened.
(Browse the opening day photo galleries for images from the ribbon cuttng.) (5/26/13) 

The park's southern block, home to the Park Tavern restaurant and a water feature in the warm months.... (5/26/13) 

... And a slightly different outdoor experience in the winter. (More skating photos here.) (11/16/12)

The middle block's pavilion and water feature. (5/2/13) 

The new L Street within the park, looking eastward. Visible are the pavers, lighted bollards, and almost-invisible curbs that, along with the narrowness of the street in comparison to the next block, are to signal to drivers to slow down. No parking is allowed on L or K. (5/2/13) 

The interior of the Park Tavern restaurant, inside the main pavilion, a few months before its actual opening in April 2013. A large bar is being built in the center, with the kitchen's pass-through window visible at right. The windows at left look out toward the restaurant's outdoor seating area, by the fountains/ice rink area. (11/16/12)

Walkways and greenery in the park's middle block. (5/26/13) 

The very northern portion of the park, looking southward. (5/2/13) 

On the roof of the pavilion that houses the Park Tavern restaurant, with some al fresco diners visible at left. (5/26/13) 

The green, green grass of the northern block. (5/2/13) 

Nighttime skating. For more images of the park at night in winter, see this gallery. (11/16/12)

What the Canal Park site looked like, north of M Street facing east, for many many years. (10/14/06)

... And the same view, more than six years later. (5/2/13) 
For a complete set of Before-and-After photos from around the park's perimeter,
see my Canal Park Expanded Photo Archive. Here's just a sampling:

A northward-facing view of the middle block of the park, with the school buses still in residence. (2/3/07)

The same location, with the park completed. (2/27/14) Click to see all available photos of this location.

The view to the south on 2nd Street just north of L, before the US Deparment of Transportation came along, but with the schoolbuses firmly entrenched. (9/19/04)

The same location, completed. (5/26/13) Click to see all available photos of this location.

Canal Park's footprint covers three blocks running north from M Street SE to I Street. This shows the view from M Street looking north, in May 2003. (5/03)

The same location, completed. The building in the distance is 225 Virginia/200 I, itself having undergone a transformation. (5/02/13) Click to see all available photos of this location.

Two views of the western side of the park, looking southward, first in August 2003. (I always loved the wooden elevated guardhouse that's just barely visible at left.) (08/03)

The same location, long after the construction of the US Department of Transportation in the distance, and with trees in place. (5/02/13) Click to see all available photos of this location.

The western version of 2nd Street southeast forms the western border of Canal Park; you can see it here, at left, in April 2004, with only 1100 New Jersey (and the little Star Market) offering any presence along 2nd Street. (04/04)

The same location, and with Capitol Hill Tower finished at right, and the new Department of Transportation Headquarters building now towering over M Street. (5/26/13) Click to see all available photos of this location.

Looking north on 2nd Street (or is it Canal Street? The world may never know), just past its intersection with M Street, in October 2003. The park now runs along the right; 1100 New Jersey is at left, completed in 2003. (10/03)

Again looking north, but this time on the east side of the park's footprint, in May 2003. (05/03)

On August 31, 2010, a ceremonial groundbreaking with Mayor Fenty, Ward 6 council member Tommy Wells, and other dignataries was held to mark the start of construction on the park. (See more photos of the groundbreaking.) (8/31/10)

In April 2007, the JBG Cos. (developers of the DOT HQ at the southern end of the Canal Park site) presented the city with a check for $4 million, $2.5 million of which will go toward the creation of both Canal Park (the rest will help fund Diamond Teague Park a few blocks away). The contribution was required as part of the zoning order that established the Department of Transportation HQ Here, Mayor Fenty speaks to the crowd assembled at 2nd and M Streets, with the ubiquitous School Buses of Canal Park in the background. (04/07)

From left: Chris Smith of William C. Smith, Mayor Fenty, the mother and father of ECC volunteer Diamond Teague, Councilman Tommy Wells, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Development Neil Albert, and Ben Jacobs, CEO of JBG Cos. (see ceremony video from DC16) (04/07)

(Left) A rendering of the original Gustafson, Guthrie & Nichol park design, looking south toward the Department of Transportation HQ. This rendering was displayed on the large sign at 2nd and M Streets (right), which was the backdrop for councilman Tommy Wells' remarks at a check presentation ceremony in April 2007 (see ceremony video from DC16).

            Overview/JD's Photos            Canal Park News Items            

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