I stopped by the grand opening of the Yards new waterfront park in the emerging Capitol Riverfront neighborhood just to the south of the Capitol Hill Historic District on the other side of the SE/SE Freeway.
The initial renderings of the five acre public waterfront park presented to the public in past forums did not do justice to the final result. The planners paid great attention to detail, as the Yards waterfront park offers stunning architectural features such as a terraced grassy amphitheater, fountains, waterfalls, public sculptures and a bridge that resembles a time portal from an episode of Dr. Who. The overall layout of the park with its varied heights, rugged and finished spaces, enhance the visitor’s experience of the river.
Art Whino set up “Beautiful Minds” in the shell of a building named the “Lumber Shed Pavilion” which will one day house retail operations. Last weekend however, gallery revelers found a dizzying array of local street art set up in the concrete skeleton of the pavilion. Some the artists at “Beautiful Minds” had shown their work at Art Whino’s “G 40 Summit” show earlier this year in Crystal City, VA. Of note was the work of Tim Conlon whose reproduction of rail car panels and hand painted graffiti trains garnered much attention as the evening progressed.
As the sun set behind the beautifully lit Frederick Douglas Memorial Bridge, whose bright blue and pink lights reflected in the Ancostia river, more visitors wandered through the Lumber Shed Pavilion gazing at art and enjoying the wide variety of food and beverages available. While Art Whino’s “Beautiful Minds” has created lasting memories for those who attended last week’s opening, the Yards waterfront park is sure to become one of the area’s most treasured public spaces offering future memories to coming visitors.
Meet The New ARCH: Nonprofit Developer Transforms Into Arts Funder
Earlier this year, Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF) acquired the Anacostia Arts Center from ARCH Development Corporation (ARCH). The much-publicized transfer of ownership is the capstone of a series of ARCH property divestures dating to 2016. The nonprofit is employing the proceeds of these sales to transform itself from a nonprofit developer into an arts funding powerhouse both in Historic Anacostia and the region.