National Mall Underground Exhibit and Media

Dear Coalition Friends:

Our National Mall Underground Exhibition will be open Monday to Wednesday but closed this Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving.  It will reopen the following Monday, November 30.  The hours are Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.  The location is: 1000 Connecticut Avenue (at K Street), NW, Washington, DC; Farragut North Metro.

Local media has covered the opening and included interviews with architect Arthur Cotton Moore who designed the concept.  See the links below to those stories.

A brief note on the need for, and evolution of, this multi-purpose proposal that solves multiple problems at no cost to the public:

  • Federal and DC agencies have been seeking for decades tour bus parking, with no success.  Visitors to Mall museums and cultural events roam city streets in vain looking for parking, and complain about the lack of restrooms, food service, basic orientation materials.  In the wake of storm water flooding in 2006 that devastated the Federal Triangle and Mall area public buildings, federal and DC agencies produced a report in 2011 that included a recommendation for a cistern under the Mall to retain flood waters but costs were considered prohibitive so the report was shelved.  As part of its Mall turf grass restoration project, the National Park Service Mall is constructing irrigation cisterns that are smaller than needed due to lack of funding.  We have consulted with all these entities in developing the project.
  • No agency or government authority has solved any one of these problems or attempted to consolidate the various needs into a more comprehensive solution.  No entity has the funding even to implement the urgently needed flood control reservoir.  The National Mall Underground project proposes to consolidate solutions into one multi-purpose facility, at no cost to the public.
  • Local philanthropist Albert H. Small came up with the idea of underground parking for Mall visitors.  The National Coalition to Save Our Mall married that need to all the other problems we’ve encountered in our 13 years of consultation with federal and District agencies and government.  Arthur Cotton Moore, who designed at Washington Harbour in Georgetown a dual purpose parking garage and flood retention facility, created a design to meet all the government and public needs, including a 24-hour Mall visitor center.
  • Who will pay?  Revenue from car parking, we’re told, is essential to make this a self-funding project that can be implemented through a carefully considered Public Private Partnership arrangement.
  • Next steps?  Congress is considering creation of a commission — at no cost to the government — to develop a feasibility study and development plan for the National Mall Underground.

Here’s the NBC Channel 4 story

Here’s the WJLA Channel 7 story

Here’s the earlier story from DCist

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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