Franklin Park is located between K and I Streets, NW and 13th and 14th Streets, NW in downtown Washington, DC and is owned by NPS. The park sits within a rapidly growing neighborhood of Center City DC. Currently the park does not meet the diverse needs of neighborhood residents, workers or visitors; however, there is the potential to transform Franklin Park into one of our nation’s premier urban parks. To realize this dramatic transformation, the National Park Service and its partners will investigate options for increasing recreational opportunities, adding services such as food and restrooms, increasing events and programs, restoring historic resources, incorporating sustainable and ecologically sensitive materials and practices, enhancing surrounding streetscape and transportation connections, and using a public/private partnership to oversee the long-term maintenance and management of the park.
The National Park Service, the District of Columbia, and the Downtown Business Improvement District (the Partners) together are collectively committed to transform Franklin Park into an active, flexible, sustainable, and historic urban park connected to its community. The District has experienced significant population growth in Center City DC in recent years, resulting in increased demand for high quality open space and an urgent need for re-envisioning Franklin Park. Franklin Park, at five acres, is the largest National Park Service reservation in Center City DC and therefore provides a unique opportunity to serve the community and enhance urban living. Currently the park does not meet today’s diverse urban needs; however, the Partners see the potential to transform Franklin Park into one of our nation’s premier urban parks based on lessons learned from national models, including Madison and Union Square parks in New York City. To realize this dramatic transformation, we believe that an inclusive design process and a bold approach to improvements and programming is necessary to create a great park that can attract and serve users, as well as engage financial support from multiple partners for long-term maintenance and operation. The following goals elaborate this vision and shall guide this project:
• As an urban park, Franklin Park should provide multiple active and passive recreational opportunities, essential services such as restrooms, food and flexible seating, and have actively managed daytime and evening events and programs.
• The renovation of Franklin Park should celebrate and respect the historic character and sense of place through restored historic resources, rich landscaping and seasonal plantings, and high quality site and building materials.
• Franklin Park should be designed as a sustainable, maintainable, and ecologically sensitive place that serves a diverse group of users including young and old District residents, workers, and visitors.
• Franklin Park should be framed by an enhanced streetscape and public realm and integrated with multiple transportation modes, including Capital Bikeshare, Metrobus, Metrorail, and the future streetcar.
• Franklin Park should utilize a public/private management structure to fund, program, maintain, and provide security for the park.
Plans, reports, and other project documents may be found at the NPS Franklin Park Planning, Environment & Public Comment site here