DC’s Eckington’s Alethia Tanner Park Unveils at NoMA Park

News—————10 August 2021

Formerly a fenced-off field, this two-acre plot of land, next to the Metropolitan Branch Trail just north of the New York Avenue Bridge, is an unexpectedly quiet reprieve from the hustle and bustle of its surrounding neighborhood. Named after the former enslaved woman who helped open the District’s first school for Black children in 1807, the Bell School, the Alethia Tanner Park is public once again with access playgrounds, courts, and ball fields. As architects for the structures in the park, Studio Twenty Seven Architecture designed the cafe and canopy pavilion as well as the stage armature – which supports large project screen for summer events. The NoMA Business Improvement District’s objective was to ‘honor the memory of an entrepreneurial, independent woman of color’. The park is designed by the Charlottesville, Virginia-based firm Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects.

The pavilion can support vine growth and utilizes a charred wood application called Shou Sugi Ban – an 18th century Japanese technique – and is made of Accoya wood and highly resistant to warping, cupping, bowing due to weathering and insect infestation. The industrial aesthetic precedent was guided by a historical freight yard within the context of community, connectivity and resilience. It will acquire a silver sheen over time.

Studio Twenty Seven Architecture Alethia Tanner Park NoMA

Large projection screen armature for summer movie events.

Studio Twenty Seven Architecture Alethia Tanner Park NoMA

Copyright Allen Russ Photography

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