Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Anacostia roundup

Delta King Hotel
Originally uploaded by MousseFromSacto.

For Stren Series, Anglers Hit the Potomac.jpgChris Baumgardner of Gastonia, N.C., finished in second place on the third day of the tournament. (Photos By Dayna Smith -- The Washington Post)

The Sacramento riverboat hotel, Delta King, image by MousseFromSacto via Flickr.

1. A couple weeks ago, Charles County sponsored an fishing contest. How's the fishing in DC? Enough for competitive fishing on the Outdoor Life channel? See "For Stren Series, Anglers Hit the Potomac," from the Post.

2. DCist has a pretty good idea about the two finalists competing for the contract from the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation to rebuild the Southwest DC Waterfront--in the blog entry "A New Anacostia Waterfront Imagined," they put the two proposals online:

The presentations by the two can be viewed here and here, though beware -- they're large .pdf files.

I haven't reviewed both proposals yet, but I was pleasantly surprised by the one I did page through, the PN Hoffman-SBER proposal, which includes a variety of participants including the Project for Public Spaces, and a number of educational and cultural offerings.

3. Speaking of educational and cultural offerings, and thinking more than just about a riverboat hotel or hostel, and maybe even a warship. (I know these are pretty typical.)

Sacramento has such a hotel (see "Sacramento digest: Riverboat's new manager") apparently there are hostel houseboats in Europe, and Calvert County Maryland is working to land a battleship as a tourist attraction. See "Some See Future for Destroyer in Solomons" subtitled "Backers Want to Turn Ship Into Museum That Allows Students to Stay Overnight."
PH2006071900037.jpgCalvert County commissioners are considering a proposal to dock the USS Forrest Sherman in Solomons. (USS Forrest Sherman Foundation)

(Also see "Naval Warship Museums Problems And Potentials.")

4. Maybe a way to get around the gaming thing would be to do what they did in Mississippi (until Hurricane Katrina), allow gaming on boats in the Gulf of Mexico. How about a gaming cruise on the Potomac? (I am not likely in favor of such.)

5. And speaking of the waterfront, one of the Commissioners of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Carl Cole, makes the point that DC doesn't have a "port authority" to deal with such issues, such as promoting river-based business.
Maritime Heritage of Southwest DCThis image of Maritime Heritage in Southwest DC is cropped from a history trails sign.

See "Cruising the Midwest," an AP story that appeared in today's Express. Note that there used to be a big trade in boat-ship based travel out of DC. One of DC's first African-American millionaires, made his money in the steamboat trade. In the midwest, the Great Lake Cruising Coalition works to make river- and lake-based boat tourism a reality.

Great Lakes Cruises on Yahoo! News Photos.jpgThe Grande Mariner cruise ship is shown docked in Wyandotte, Mich., on June 13, 2006. By the time the Grande Mariner and its 65 passengers reach Chicago four days after seeing Detroit, they will have traveled through the Erie Canal and four of the five Great Lakes. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

6. And of course, we need to link up with Prince George's County Maryland's Anacostia Trails Heritage Area, and work together jointly to promote tourism and improvement of the area. Among the many things they do (in association with the Parks Dept. of the County) are river tours of the Anacostia, starting at the Waterfront Park in Bladensburg, and going south into DC.

7. Speaking of DC, I keep meaning to mention the great efforts of Washington Parks and People and their restoration of the Watts Branch Park, now called the Marvin Gaye Park. Also see "Reviving the Roots Of an R& B Legend," subtitled "Park Could Be Homage to Marvin Gaye," and "Getting Its Groove Back," subtitled "A Park Under Restoration Will Be Renamed Today for Marvin Gaye," both from the Washington Post.
Getting Its Groove Back.jpgWatts Branch Park is officially rededicated as Marvin Gaye Park on what would have been the singer's 67th birthday. There is much yet to be done, but the 1.6-mile-long park is well on its way to being turned into what one activist calls the "east-of-the-river equivalent of Rock Creek Park." Washington Post photo.

8. And how about kayaking, faux-beaches, volleyball, and more fun stuff? - Canton Kayak Club member.jpgA Canton Kayak Club member takes in the sunrise at the Inner Harbor. (Sun photo by Elizabeth Malby)Jul 13, 2006

Boat rave, waterfront, ChicagoBoat rave, waterfront, Chicago. New York Times photo.

Water ballWater balls...

Paris Plage, Urban BeachParis Plage, an August urban beach tradition. Bernard Bisson, Getty Images.

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