View from Edgewood Road

Gateway Park - View from Edgewood Road

In tomorrow’s worksession, the City Council will discuss the design elements of the Hollywood Gateway project and will decide if it should give staff go ahead to the final design phase of the project.

The City awarded a contract for landscape architecture and engineering design services to Flora Teeter and Whitney Bailey Cox and Magnani, LLC in the fall of 2012 for an eco-gateway park at the intersection of Route 1 and Edgewood Road. After that, they preparted conceptual design alternatives and a preferred design was selected by the Project Advisory Committee and presented to the North College Park Citizens Association. Flora Teeter/WBCM is seeking comments on the design plan from the City
Council prior to entering into the final design phase of the project.

The project’s site is very small (6,800 square feet) and is impacted by steep slopes, traffic, and noise and water runoff from Route 1. It also lacks a strong connection to the Hollywood neighborhood. Site assets include a high visibility location, access to public transportation and the potential to connect the site to 4ih Place through acquisition of a vacant lot next door (see Attachment 1, Site Context Map and Attachment 2, Site Analysis Diagram). The recommended design concept includes this site and pursues the theme of “Wind and Weather” (see Attachment 3).

In order to explore ideas for incorporating interactive, educational wind and weather features into the park, a brainstorming session was arranged with scientists and the Public Affairs office of the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction. Many ideas were discussed including having a weather station, windmill, cloud machine, cisterns to make it rain, cloud identification, weather vane, sundial and art projects involving wind socks, wind chimes and whirligigs. The opportunities are quite promising and could possibly involve ongoing participation from NOAA and an active relationship with the Hollywood Elementary School.

The property owners to the west of the site, Allen Rackers and the State Highway Administration (SHA), have reviewed the design concept and been supportive. It’s the intention of the City to make improvements on their property with their permission. The City will seek funding from SHA for work (sidewalk and landscaping) within their right-of-way. A preliminary conceptual cost estimate has been prepared but this estimate will need to be updated as the design is finalized. There are also opportunities to seek funding from other sources such as the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Anacostia Trails Heritage Authority and National Endowment for the Arts. Program Open Space funding for acquisition of the vacant lot is currently available.

Flora Teeter also came to North College Park Civic Association meeting last month and presented their conceptual plan.

We’re expecting to have another presentation upon completion of the final design plans, specifications, construction cost estimate and maintenance estimate prior to the bidding phase of the project.

Please let me know if you have any comments about the project.