Franklin Park, located between 13th and 14th streets NW and K and I streets NW, closed July 1 for a major renovation. This nearly 5-acre historic U.S. National Park Service site in the heart of DowntownDC will be transformed into a flexible, innovative and exciting green space. The park is not accessible to the public during construction and is expected to reopen in 2021.
Why is Franklin Park undergoing renovation?
The park is in need of many structural repairs and improvements, including to paths and walkways, the landscaping and tree canopy, the historic fountain, the tree canopy, seating and lighting and more. The redesigned park (see renderings below) will include an outdoor café with seating and restrooms, a children’s play area, a repaired and interactive historic fountain, new seating, an improved tree canopy and more.
Will there still be access to transportation? Transportation access surrounding the park, including Metrobus and DC Circulator stops, will continue.
How is the DowntownDC BID assisting individuals experiencing homelessness?
Individuals experiencing homelessness can continue to receive services, on a limited basis during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, at the Downtown Day Services Center (The Center) at 1313 New York Avenue NW. The Center is open to serve individuals Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm.
In addition, the DowntownDC BID will continue to provide daily lunchtime meal service, Monday through Friday, 11am-1pm in the park adjacent to the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church and on the weekends, 11am-1pm, on the 800 block of Vermont Avenue (between H and I streets NW) through its DowntownDC Weekend Community Services Program.
The Center is operated by the DowntownDC BID with support from the DC Department of Human Services (DHS) and services from Pathways to Housing DC and HIPS.
How will weekend charitable services be affected?
Community groups that have provided services in Franklin Park to individuals experiencing homelessness on the weekend can continue to do so in a safe alternative location during the construction period. The DowntownDC BID in partnership with the District will facilitate weekend charitable activities in the 800 block of Vermont Avenue NW (between H and I streets NW). On Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-4pm, community-based organizations, churches and individuals that wish to provide services to individuals experiencing homelessness can register for a designated space at this alternative site which will include hand washing stations and support social distancing particularly during COVID-19. This is a permitted area and will be closed to vehicular traffic.
Charitable organizations can reserve a designated space and time through our online scheduling system. Each participant will need to create a username and password to book an appointment. Click here to register. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A planning partnership was formed in 2012 between NPS, the DC Government and the BID to transform the park and establish sustainable maintenance and operation of the park in perpetuity. The result of this planning effort, which included public outreach and stakeholder input, was a concept design and maintenance and operations plan for the park.
Mayor Muriel Bowser set aside $18 million in 2018 for the renovation. In March 2019, President Trump signed a federal lands package that permitted the District of Columbia to invest its capital dollars in the renovation and construction of the park through a cooperative management agreement with NPS. Studios Architecture and Land Collective were awarded the design and engineering contracts for the project. The DC Department of General Services (DGS) is overseeing the construction and has retained Smoot Construction Co. as the general contractor. The DowntownDC BID will operate, staff and manage the park upon its reopening. Funding will be supported by the BID’s 501c3, the DowntownDC Foundation.
- Long-Awaited Franklin Park Project Begins Summer 2020, June 26, 2020
- U.S. Senate Passes Bill Related to Franklin Park, February 15, 2019
- PRESS RELEASE: DowntownDC BID Supports House Passage of H.R. 2897
- House passes bill to allow District to invest in Franklin Park (Washington Post) January 18, 2018
- D.C. asks Congress for approval to invest in Franklin Square (Washington Post) June 16, 2017
- VIDEO: National Park Service’s Bob Vogel Champions Franklin Park
- Franklin Park Design Presentation
- Franklin Park Design Presentation (October 2019)
- NCPC Franklin Park Rehabilitation Presentation (April 2019)
- National Park Service – Urban Agenda 2016
- OLIN ETM and ZGF – Franklin Park Design Operations and Maintenance Presentation – Oct 1 2015
- Tim Marshall – Franklin Park Operations and Maintenance Report – July 2015
- Franklin Park at a glance_shortversion
- “Premiums on the Park,” 2012 CBRE study of higher Manhattan office rents adjacent to parks
- Franklin Park – Finding of No Significant Impact
- Franklin Park Vision
- Franklin Park Timeline
- Franklin Park Plan Summary
- Franklin Park Transformation Brochure