Meridian Hill Park in DC reopens with new accessible route after 2-year rehab

The lower half of Meridian Hill Park in D.C., which is also known as Malcolm X Park, has reopened after more than two years.

The National Park Service said it restored historical landscape and architectural features in addition to creating an “easier entry” to the lower plaza level for people who use wheelchairs.

The completed lower plaza of Meridian Hill Park. (Courtesy NPS)

Construction also included entry from the corner of 16th Street NW and Florida Avenue NW, and W Street NW to the lower plaza, continuing to the east with entry to the plaza in front of the James Buchanan Memorial, a news release said.

The NPS also updated storm drains and inlets throughout the lower level of the park.

Some 26 trees, 488 shrubs and 60 ground cover plants were also planted to mirror the park’s landscape design, as well as 10 large Columbia plane trees for shade.

There is also a new pleached allée — a frame that allows trees to be trained and trimmed to form an archway — from where you can view the Washington Monument on the park’s upper level. This archway was part of the original landscape design, the National Park Service said.

Meridian Hill Park was originally a mansion built by John Porter in 1819.

In 1829, it became the home of President John Quincy Adams, when he departed office. After it became a public park, Union troops used it as a camp during the Civil War.

The park was established by Congress in June 1910, and construction began in 1914. The park was dedicated in 1936<.

The Park Service said it is making plans to repair the cascading fountain.

Tadiwos Abedje

Tadi Abedje is a freelance digital writer/editor for WTOP. He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Northern Virginia. Journalism has been his No. 1 passion since he was a kid and he is blessed to be around people, telling their stories and sharing them with the world.

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