DC -- Columbia Heights -- Meridian Hill Park (Malcolm X Park):
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- MERID_200429_01.JPG: Nature in the time of corona
- MERID_200429_48.JPG: Offert par
Societe des femmes de France
A New York
Le 6 Janvier 1922
- MERID_200531_06.JPG: Someone reading Margaret Atwood's "The Testaments"
- MERID_200531_22.JPG: Drum concert at the park
- Wikipedia Description: Meridian Hill Park
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Meridian Hill Park, also known unofficially as Malcolm X Park, is located in the Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Columbia Heights. The 12 acres (49,000 mē) of landscaped grounds are maintained by the National Park Service as part of Rock Creek Park, but are not contiguous with the main part of that park. Meridian Hill Park is bordered by 15th, 16th, W, and Euclid Streets NW.
In 1819, John Porter erected a mansion on the grounds and called it "Meridian Hill" because it was on the exact longitude of the original District of Columbia milestone marker, set down on April 15, 1791 at Jones Point, Virginia by Major Andrew Ellicott assisted by Benjamin Banneker. During the 19th century the environs of Meridian Hill became host to Columbia College, precursor to George Washington University. Prior to the Civil War, the mansion grounds became a pleasure park for the area. During the war, Union troops encamped there.
Much of the impetus for creating a public park on this portion of 16th Street came from Mary Foote Henderson, wife of Missouri senator John Brooks Henderson and local resident. She lobbied Congress with several plans for the neighborhood before getting approval for the park. The land was originally part of Columbian College, now George Washington University. In 1910, after the school moved to its current location, the federal government bought the land, and in 1914 the Interior Department hired landscape architect George Burnap to design a grand urban park modeled on parks found in European capitals. His plans, later modified by Horace Peaslee, included an Italian Renaissance-style terraced fountain in the lower half and gardens in a French Baroque style in the upper half. The walls and fountains were built with concrete aggregate, a new building material consisting of concrete mixed with small pebbles. After two decades under construction, the grounds were given park status in 1936 and have been designated a National Historic Landmark.
In the 1970s and 80s, crime became widespread in the surrounding neighborhoods. Meridian Hill Park became a haven for drug dealing and was considered unsafe, especially at night. After the murder of a local teenager near the park in 1990, a group of citizens formed "Friends of Meridian Hill Park". They organized volunteer nighttime patrols and lobbied the National Park Service to make improvements to the park. Their efforts were largely effective and today the park is considered relatively safe.
On Sunday afternoons during the warm weather months, people gather from 3:00–9:00 p.m. in the upper park to dance, participate in a drum circle, and provide food for the homeless. The activity has been held in the park since the 1950s, and attracts professional drummers from time to time.
Malcolm X Park:
Meridian Hill Park was to be renamed in 1969. DC residents overwhelmingly voted for the park to be named after Malcolm X. Constitutionally, Congress must ratify all of D.C.'s laws before they take effect. In 1969, a bill was introduced to rename the site "Malcolm X Park". The U.S. House of Representatives rejected this vote, instead voting to keep the "Meridian Hill Park" name. Although the bill failed, some locals informally refer to it by the proposed name.
Statues and features:
One of the intriguing feature of the park is the thirteen basin cascade fountains that form the center of the lower level formal garden. The fountains are designed with a recirculating water system which, through an elaborate series of pumps, supplies water to two large circular fountains on the upper level, and cascade found on the lower. Each cascade bowl flows to a larger bowl as they descend to the bottom. Water fills one bowl, overflowing into the next, until it reaches the large reflecting pool in the plaza.
* "Serenity" by sculptor Jose Clara, dedicated to the memory of Lt. Commander William Henry Scheutze (USN);
* "Jeanne d'Arc," a gift from the "Ladies of France in Exile in New York." It is a bronze copy of a statue by Paul Dubois. The original is at the Reims Cathedral in France. In a city of many equestrian statues, this is the only one to depict a woman.
* "Dante" by Ettore Ximenes;
* A memorial to James Buchanan, the 15th president of the United States, sculpted by Hans Schuler.
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