It’s been a few months since I last wrote about the planned Carter G. Woodson Memorial Park, to be located in the little triangle of land between 9th and Q Streets and Rhode Island Avenue. Not having witnessed any visible signs of the makings of a new park, I decided to send a few emails to find out where the design and construction schedule stands. Through emails to the National Trust and to Raymond Kaskey, the sculptor selected to craft the statue of Dr. Woodson (I also emailed Lee and Associates, the landscape architecture firm selected for the park but got no response), I learned the following:
+ A recent change by DDOT's Procurement Office regarding contracting authority with respect to artists removed the National Trust's authority to execute a contract with the sculptor directly. DDOT is now responsible for contracting with Mr. Kaskey. The contract between DDOT and Mr. Kaskey is close to execution (DDOT has finished drafting it; Mr. Kaskey must now sign it).
+ The National Trust is in the process of revising a contract with the selected landscape architect Lee and Associates. The National Trust's intent is that the contract will be completed within 30 days.
+ The park should be complete within 13 to 19 months, assuming all new contracts are executed within the next 30 days.
+ The National Trust will again touch base with the community once everyone is signed up again under the new contracts. They are aware of concerns about safety and lighting of the new park, and are dedicated to completing their work in Shaw and to helping highlight our neighborhood's rich history.
I think it would be nice to have an "interim" park on the plot of land--something relatively simple like digging up the asphalt and planting wildflowers there.