Franklin Park

Efforts are currently underway to transform Franklin Park (13th to 14th streets between I and K streets NW) into an active, flexible, sustainable and historic urban park connected to its community.

Franklin Park is located in the center of DowntownDC in the heart of the District and at nearly 5 acres, it is Downtown’s largest park. The park is served by Metrorail, Metrobus and the DC Circulator and it sits amid a thriving commercial district and a growing residential population.

The park is owned by the National Park Service (NPS) and is currently in need of many functional improvements and updates to enable the park to adequately serve the community. Additionally, the park’s size and location provide a unique opportunity to significantly impact the community and the local economy by reimagining this green space. NPS supports efforts to revitalize the park as part of its Urban Agenda and is exploring ways in which to partner with the city to achieve these goals.

A planning partnership was formed in 2012 between NPS, the District government and the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (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, is a concept design and maintenance and operations plan for the park.

In August 2015, the National Park Service, in cooperation with the National Capital Planning Commission and working with the District of Columbia and the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID), completed an Environmental Assessment for the Franklin Park Vision and Transformation plan (EA). Based on analysis of the EA and consideration of public comments, the National Park Service determined that the work in Franklin Park will not result in significant impacts to the environment. NPS released a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for a preferred design alternative.

In March 2018, the DC Department of General Services (DGS) awarded the design and engineering contract for the renovation of Franklin Park to Studios Architecture and Land Collective. The design team will create construction documents that will be released for bidding in FY19.

Downtown stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the design development in fall 2018.

This phase of the Franklin Park Vision and Transformation Plan is based on the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). NPS released a FONSI for a preferred design alternative in August, 2015.

Groundbreaking on the park is projected to take place in late FY19.

Congressional Action

The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing on S. 1956 on Feb. 14, 2018, but unfortunately the bill was not reported out of committee at that time. The bill must be voted out of committee before going to the Senate for approval.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 16 unanimously passed the companion bill, H.R. 2897.

This legislation will enable the District to enter into a cooperative management agreement with the National Park Service to operate, maintain and manage Franklin Park.

On this page, you will find links to design plans, documents and reports related to the effort to revitalize Franklin Park.

For more information on Franklin Park, please contact Alex Block at alex@downtowndc.org.

For media inquiries, contact Rachel Rose Hartman at rachel@downtowndc.org

Concept Renderings

Franklin Park Events

The DowntownDC BID, together with partners, hosts annual events in Franklin Park including:

  • DowntownDC Live: Free lunchtime concerts on Thursdays in June and July
  • Jazz in Franklin Park: Free jazz on select Fridays in the summer with Wolf Trap
  • Picnic in the Park: Free picnic blankets on Fridays during lunchtime in the summer


For more information visit downtowndc.org/events

Project Timeline

The US House of Representatives passes H.R. 2897.
January 2018

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on S. 1956.
February 2018
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton introduces legislation to enable the Mayor of the
District of Columbia to enter into cooperative management agreements with the National Park Service.
October 2017 

Senator Lisa Murkowski introduces S. 1956 to enable the Mayor of the District of
Columbia to enter into cooperative management agreements with the National Park Service.
October 2017
Memorandum of Agreement Signed
3-Jun-2015

Property Owners Meeting
1-Oct-2015
Public Meeting - Presentation of the Design Alternatives
19-Feb-2014

Franklin Park Vision and Transformation Plan EA Released
2-Dec-2014

Consulting Parties Meeting
2-Dec-2014
First Franklin Park Partners Planning Meeting
11-Mar-2013

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
18-Sep-2013

Public Meeting - Community Workshop
7-Nov-2013

Technical Advisory Committee Meeting
9-Dec-2013

Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meeting
9-Dec-2013
Meeting between DC Gov't, NPS, and the Downtown BID re: conditions in Franklin Park
28-Aug-2012