Architects share ideas to turn Pennsylvania Ave. into an inclusive entertainment space

Pennsylvania Avenue is the focus of a new initiative that will transform D.C.’s historic thoroughfare into a more inclusive space.

The project is called “America’s Civic Stage: A Vision to celebrate Pennsylvania Avenue.”

The National Capital Planning Commission invited six architects and experts to share their ideas.

When looking at the residents surveyed, 41% of respondents said they would like to see the area serve as a space to uplift, inspire and entertain.

Laurie Olin, a renowned landscape artist and the founder of Olin Studio, said some possible improvements include a more pedestrian friendly area and shaded space, while also allowing for more sunshine during the colder months.

“This clearly is an extremely important place and everybody knows it,” he said.

Helen Marriage, director of Artichoke Trust, also shared ideas, and said she would like to see the avenue transformed into a more intimate space where all visitors feel welcome.

Anita Morrison, with Partners for Economic Solutions, said that begins with reconsidering which agency oversees the avenue in order to allow for cafes and other interactive installations.

“The avenue needs staff that wake up every morning with a focus on improving and maintaining the avenue,” she added.

Next steps include developing a concept and then looking at the environmental impact.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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