ULI Rose Center Faculty, Ignacio Bunster-Ossa, led a tour of the Wallace, Roberts, and Todd designed Georgetown Waterfront Park, for visiting public officials and business leaders from Indiana last week.
During an excursion to the capitol, the delegation of forty Greater Lafayette delegates – coordinated by Greater Lafayette Commerce – took a break from meetings with legislators to explore the 10 acre park along the Potomac River. The park was completed in 2011 after years of neglect and use as a parking lot. Once a vibrant commercial waterfront, for decades the fate of roadway developments – a scrapped interstate highway plan and an abandoned plan to demolition of the Whitehurst Freeway, stymied community goals to convert the land to recreational use. Eventually, between 1990 and 2005 citizen and community leaders were able to establish a partnership the National Park Service, which took ownership of the land in 1985, to create Friends of the Georgetown Waterfront Park – and led to catalyzing support for developing the land as a park and oversaw the redevelopment process.
The park is open to the public providing green space for visitor recreation and resident congregation. Maintained by the National Park Service, the park joins 225 miles of public parkland along the Potomac River from the terminus of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, in Cumberland, Md., to historic Mt. Vernon, Va. On any given day, visitors can picnic on the green lawns, cycle or run on dedicated pathways, or watch crew races on the waters below.