An affiliation of eight home and condo owner associations along G Street SW is taking the lead in advocating for repairs and upgrades to the Amidon Sidewalk Park at Fourth and G Streets SW. The Waterfront Gateway Neighborhood Association (WGNA) includes nearly 1,000 households from Delaware Avenue to Ninth Street SW and was formed in 2011.
Completed in 1967, budget cutting by federal development agencies meant the Amidon Promenade, which later become known as the Amidon Sidewalk Park, never met its original intent of providing recreational options to complement the adjacent Amidon Field. A nine foot by 123 foot space intended for lawn bowling was simply planted with grass and three game tables that were to double for picnicking were never installed. An architect working on the Southwest urban renewal project designed a sculpture, which is still standing but in disrepair, to pay homage to various building materials used in Southwest construction projects, including exposed concrete and glazed brick, in a variety of sizes and colors.
The Amidon-Bowen Elementary School and recreational facilities were named in honor of local educator Margaret Millburn Amidon. Amidon started her own school for girls in 1843, but was eventually hired by the District and made principal of a public grammar school for girls. She retired in 1869, shortly before her death from tuberculosis.
Working with the office of Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen and the DC Office of Planning, WGNA is putting together an advisory board to evaluate options beyond the initial clean up and repairs intended for this spring. Those interested in participating should email email@example.com or call Executive Director Bob Craycraft at 202-812-0291. To learn more about WGNA, see www.dcwaterfrontgateway.org or on Facebook by searching for “DC Waterfront Gateway.”
By: Bob Craycraft
Photos courtesy of Bob Craycraft