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Canal Park, a $26.5 million city park that is a model of sustainable, green urban development, opened on Friday with an excited and joyous audience including speakers Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Councilmember Tommy Wells and DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman. 

Adrianne Todman said that the park will serve as a front yard to Capitol Quarter, the new 323-townhome neighborhood that is part of DCHA’s HOPE VI redevelopment of the Arthur Capper and Carrollsburg public housing communities.    “The mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhood has transformed a corner of the city that was once neglected,” she said. 

Chris Smith, CEO of development firm W.C. Smith, explained that his proposal to the DC government in 2000 to turn a city property into a park took many godmothers and godfathers to complete.  The Office of the DC Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development invested $13.5 million in the park, and DCHA provided $3.9 million equity and allocated $13.5 million in New Market Tax Credits.  US Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton explained that the federal government initially awarded a $2.5 million grant to the Canal Park developers, and real estate developer JBG matched the grant. 

The park includes a 10,000-linear square foot ice skating path with a skate rental facility, a restaurant pavilion, laser-lighted water spouts, and a 20-by-20-foot light cube that has large projection panels to display artwork and photographs of local artists, as well as real-time images of visitors to the site. 

Local media coverage of the ribbon-cutting included the Post, NBC4, and WJLA.

From left: Michael Stevens, Chris Smith, Mayor Gray, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Tommy Wells, Adrianne Todman, and Lionell Thomas of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
From left: Michael Stevens, Chris Smith, Mayor Gray, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Tommy Wells, Adrianne Todman, and Lionell Thomas of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
Last modified: 12/30/2014 2:58:32 PM