Letter from the Chair

December 2023

Dear Friends of the National Mall,

On behalf of the National Mall Coalition, I wish you a joyous holiday season and a happy New Year.

I hope you will consider making a donation to our cause.

The Coalition is entering our 24th year in which we continue our efforts to educate the public about the significance of the National Mall, advocate forward-looking policies to support the role of the Mall as the Stage for American Democracy, and develop creative programs and ideas to ensure the Mall remains lively and resilient in the 21st century and beyond.

Consider two of our major efforts – the second of which is aimed at addressing the existential threat of flooding described in disturbing detail in a just-published article in The Washington Post.

With the “3rd Century Mall” concept, we have called for a new vision for the Mall in its 3rd century – a vision that builds on the brilliant legacy of the 1791 L’Enfant Plan and the 1902 McMillan Commission Plan that expanded L’Enfant’s vision to add the Lincoln Memorial and hundreds of acres of public parkland.

Twenty years after we first raised the idea, we’re convinced momentum is building. Members of Congress, as well as members of the US Commission of Fine Arts and National Capital Planning Commission, are publicly stating their frustration over the ad-hoc memorial and museum building process and the lack of clear guidance about what and where to fit new structures on the already overbuilt Mall public open space.

Ultimately, it will take leadership from the President or Congress to convene a new McMillan-type commission to create the 3rd Century plan.

The flooding threat is even more urgent. Seeing a severe problem in search of a solution, we proposed the National Mall Underground facility. Constructed beneath the Mall grass panels, the Underground could capture 30 million gallons of storm water. Its 1,000 geothermal rods could generate clean renewable energy for Mall museums and public buildings. One level, not to be flooded, offers a much-needed Mall welcome center and ample parking for the numerous tour and school buses that otherwise park on the streets or drive off, and an electric charging station for the growing fleet of “green” government vehicles. What’s not to like? Again, we think the time has come for creative thinking and ours is one attempt at that.

Our goals remain as relevant and realizable as ever as the Mall continues in its role as the Stage for American Democracy.

We welcome your support. Please donate here. Or mail your donation to:

National Mall Coalition

PO Box 4709

Rockville, MD 20849


Judy Feldman signature

Judy Scott Feldman, PhD
Founding Member and Chair, National Mall Coalition
jfeldman@nationalmallcoalition.org / 301-335-8490