Monday, June 16, 2014

D.C. United and its architect, Populous, have released new propaganda drawings of what the potential new D.C. soccer stadium will look like. I say "propaganda", because architectural drawings like this are just that. They never look like what the real thing will look like. Ever.

Nontheless, I think their general plan looks pretty good!!

It's worth noting, fellow soccer fans, that the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) has already approved extensive plans for the replacement of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge in this area. The bridge's realignment, and the NCPC's proposal to turn the south end of South Capitol Street into a major new commemorative area (like the National Mall) has already been approved. Sure, the NCPC doesn't have the funds in the place to do any of this. But the bridge replacement is moving forward, and so is the creation of a gigantic new traffic oval.

The NCPC has also semi-approved an extensive plan to have the federal government purchase about 2.5 city blocks west and southeast of the new traffic oval, and turn them into parkland. This is all empty land already (cleared and used for construction of the baseball stadium). It would consolidate two isolated city-owned parks (Reservation 244 and Reservation 245) into a major new park west of the oval, and create a spectacular new viewshed (jargon for "a nice view") opposite undeveloped Poplar Point and Anacostia Park.

Finally, the NCPC has also suggested purchasing another three city blocks south of the oval, all the way down to T Street SW. This is all empty land as well. This would double the size of the commemorative area, and radically renovate the entire northern bank of the Anacosita River -- creating a massive, unbroken, beautiful park all the way from Buzzard Point in the south to the Washington Navy Yard in the north!

The NCPC says this second land purchase is "nice but not essential". So it is only potential.

Still, it's worth noting just how well the soccer stadium fits in to the NCPC's existing plans.

It's worth noting, too, that D.C. just made the U.S. Olympic Committee's four-city short-list of potential sites for the 2024 Summer Olympics. One of these cities is going to be chosen for submission to the IOC. The soccer stadium (and the potential velodrome south of it) would greatly enhance D.C.'s bid.

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