Sited in L’Enfant’s 1791 City Plan, Franklin Park has played an historically vibrant role to Washington, DC’s City Center, from housing Union troops during the Civil War to providing spring water to the White House. While many of its specimen trees remain creating a uniquely canopied open space in the heart of downtown, over time it has become challenged due to a changing context and lack of resources for maintenance and operations. In collaboration with the DC Office of Planning, the National Park Service, and the Downtown DC BID, OLIN and its team worked to craft a visionary plan that met key community goals including: activating the park through community desired programming, infusing the site with sustainable systems, and creating a management and operations plan. The effort included a year and half long review process as part of the federal Section 106 NEPA process and included coordination with the Commission of Fine Arts, the State Historic Preservation Office and the National Capitol Planning Commission. Franklin Park is now being transformed into a vibrant, flexible historic park with contemporary amenities, responding to DC’s growing and shifting demographics. The new design includes a re-envisioned fountain, a new play area, a cafe, new streetscape furnishings and seasonal plantings.
Washington, DC District Office of Planning
Plan completed 2013