A third meeting of the Waterfront Park charrette occurred last week, where the landscape architects presented their updated plans for the park (above is a rendering of a fountain and semicircular pergola). The park will be located at the southern end of The Wharf development, which is now dominated by a parking lot for the cruise ship operators. If you recall, there were two other charrette sessions late last year where a select group of community members (me included) were invited to help plan the 4.2-acre site. As a result of the prior sessions, the landscape architects from Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects and Lee and Associates Inc. presented their plan for the park, as seen below.
The park as planned will be built in two phases. There is a section of the park footprint that is now owned by the National Park Service near the Titanic Memorial that will be built in a second phase once an agreement is made with the federal agency. The biggest change to the park from the earlier version is the reduction in size of the pavilion to about 800 square feet. It will no longer offer food service and will serve mainly as storage for equipment used in the park, such as bocce balls and other items. The storage pavilion will have a green roof and perhaps a green trellis on the side. Otherwise, the other elements of the park have remained the same. The existing willow oaks will be maintained and will frame the northern and eastern edges of the park. A semicircular pergola on the northern end will offer some shade (with integrated solar panels in some areas to help power the lights planned in the park) while a seat wall (potentially made of natural materials like stone) and a shallow fountain will follow the shape of the pergola. The play lawn and pergola will be elevated to allow views out toward the Washington Channel and the Potomac River. Play mounds will be positioned to help screen the townhouses planned at Pier 4 and the Harbor Patrol. A garden area will be located near the willow oaks and rain gardens will be placed throughout the park to help capture runoff before it gets in the channel. Ramps and stairs will lead down from the play lawn to the roadway where access must be maintained for Pier 4 and the Harbor Patrol; however, the road won't be visible from above. Parking spaces for the Harbor Patrol and Pier 4 will be built using porous pavement and pathways throughout the park will be made with either concrete pavers or exposed oyster shell concrete. The cafe terrace shown on the rendering is where the Maine Lobsterman statue is currently located and is not officially part of the park, but is close enough for patrons to grab a refreshment or bite to eat to take to the park in lieu of a pavilion inside the park. Security will be provided by Hoffman Madison Waterfront, so the risk of homeless people sleeping in the park will be minimized.
The charrette group will reconvene once the park design is closer to being finalized. There are still elements of the park that still need to be decided, such as lighting, seating, and a name. What name would you give the park?
Renderings courtesy of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects and Lee and Associates, Inc.