DC in a few words
by Thomas Doyle
With the bulk of the sales season still being ironed out I take a moment to get on line and touch base with all. Many thanks to everyone who has sent a FB ‘friend’ acceptance on our new website. We all beam with pride when y’all come forward as such! For those of you who haven’t yet – – I’m not holding it against you (!) – – go to www.myedtours.com and give us that thumbs-up!!
We are filling your files w/rsvs to match the agenda’s we have ‘under construction’ right now. Since every site under a roof in DC now requires a timed entry reservation, getting on top of your needs and staying on top is even more critical than ever before. The changes with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum system went into effect in April but they aren’t working as they’d planned so we’ve by-passed the new system and gone in the ol’ back door – – and so far – – it’s working!
Things are underway at The Old Post Office. Trump Hotel Collections (yes, The Donald) recently unveiled plans for its $200 million redevelopment of The Old Post Office building, the iconic Pennsylvania Avenue landmark located just a few blocks from the White House. Construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2014 with an expected completion in late 2015. At the pinnacle of The Old Post Office building, the Clock Tower houses the official United States Bells of Congress, a bicentennial gift from England celebrating the end of the Revolutionary War. With its sweeping 360-degree view of the city, this National Park Service-run destination draws as many as 1,500 visitors each day. The plans so far is a dedicated entrance on the south side of the building which will welcome visitors, and feature an Old Post Office museum, exhibition center and retail outlets. (This was a sticking point in the sale on how Trump might get around the NPS and the transformation of the old building into another show-place signature hotel.)
On the National Mall – November will see the Sculpture Garden Fountain transformed to the Ice Rink locals and visitors look forward to every year. Weather permitting, the ice will remain through March 2014.
The Washington Monument – is now covered by scaffolding and semi-transparent scrim to allow repair of the damage caused by the (rare) East Coast earthquake two years ago. With this, The Monument has undergone a makeover inspiring quite a buzz about the 129-year-old obelisk. Designed by New York architect Michael Graves and completed in June, the sleek, mechanical scaffolding, which exaggerates the pattern of the monument’s stone exterior, really looks great in its temporary form.
Work at the WWII Memorial – is nearly complete. The high tech work entailed repairs to the wall behind the Wall of Stars. The pump room is dry and other contractors will come in to repair the surface walkway above the Wall of Stars. To keep the ground water out of the pump rooms which are located directly below the Wall of Stars, a 300 foot long, 2 foot wide “curtain wall” between the Reflecting Pool and the WWII Memorial was built. When their drill bits reach bedrock, they begin to slowly back the bit out while it spins out concrete mixtures at high pressure and creates concrete columns that are tied to bedrock. Amazing stuff! They brought their own portable concrete plant so they could get a perfect mix of concrete on demand.
Other cool [random] info – The Wharf Redevelopment will dramatically transform what today is an underdeveloped but valuable strip of city-owned land stretching along Maine Avenue to the Washington Channel. Overlooking East Potomac Park (you might remember Hain’s Point and the Awakening being located there long, long ago) and the Potomac River, the Wharf will encompass a broad range of residential, commercial, cultural and recreational uses. It is sure to rival other lively downtown destinations such as the Penn Quarter and 7th Street NW corridor, Union Station and Georgetown. The first phase is projected to open in 2015. Check out the website for more info – http://www.swdcwaterfront.com/index.htm
DC was named the sixth “Most Bikeable” U.S. City – According to a new ranking by Bike Score, the District is the nation’s sixth most bikeable large city with 500,000 or more residents. Arlington was named among the most bikeable smaller cities. Cities were scored based on infrastructure and accessibility (bike lanes and trails) as well as hilliness, road connectivity and the number of cyclists on city streets. D.C. received a score of 65 out of 100, which makes it simply “bikeable,” according to Bike Score. To be considered a “biker’s paradise,” cities would need to score between 90 and 100. Bike Score released the list in May in honor of National Bike Month and Bike to Work Week.
SEPTEMBER 23rd – Once again, I honored the birth of Bruce Springsteen.
OCTOBER 3, 1863 – President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.