Federal planners voted today to approve replacement of a swath of pavement in Southwest DC with a landscaped park, converting the area dominated by federal office buildings and minimal streetscaping into something slightly greener and a touch less alienating.
The National Capitol Planning Commission's vote today facilitates the plan to turn a large surface parking lot on C Street into a public park, narrow the street, create a sidwalk, and blend the now ubiquitous security wall more discreetly into the landscaping. The 5-story Mary E. Switzer building, owned by GSA and host to an alphabet soup of agencies, has already been given an internal nip-tuck, with greener, more modern features, but outside had abandoned any pretense of pedestrian friendly streetscaping in favor of automobile access and security.
Plans for the building directly across from C Street, which also sports a large surface parking lot, are in the works but have not yet been approved. The block-sized Switzer building was completed in 1940 and has been a government office building since completion, but is on a regular tourist footpath between the Federal Center Southwest Metro station and the Mall.
Washington D.C. real estate development news