RFK Stadium Redevelopment Study

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) has an amazing vision for the current RFK Stadium site, part of their grand master "Extending the Legacy" plan.

Current RFK Stadium Site

The RFK Stadium Redevelopment Study, dated 12/2006, one part of the master plan, is filled with prospective ideas of what could be, if the traditional monument core (The Mall) is extended to the Anacostia river. It includes reconstructing East Capitol Street, Independence Avenue and Constitution Avenue into grand boulevards connecting the Mall and the River. The study includes proposing grand monuments, national museums, business and cultural centers, acres of outdoor recreation sites, even an amphitheater.

Quote from the Extending the Legacy report:

“Yet Extending the Legacy does more than preserve what is traditional and familiar. It redefines the Monumental Core to include adjacent portions of North, South and East Capitol streets. It reclaims and reconnects the city’s waterfront, from Georgetown on the Potomac River to the National Arboretum on the
Anacostia. It corrects old problems by removing portions of the Southeast/Southwest Freeway, adjacent railroad tracks and several bridges that have divided neighborhoods and dismembered Washington for decades. It addresses the District’s urgent need for jobs, housing and mobility. And it creates opportunities for new parks, offices and transit centers in all quadrants of the city. The plan combines bold moves at an urban scale with precise surgical ones appropriate for neighborhoods. It is neither a policy document nor an abstract theoretical exercise. It is a physical plan informed by a vision of what Washington could be.”

Envisioned Street Network "...extending the City's grid toward the Water front"

These are obviously lofty ideals and will take decades to implement. And, remember these are just guidelines or a basis to start discussions for planning, design and implementation. Nothing within these documents is even being considered for funding, design or construction currently (as far as we know).

An Artist's Rendering of NCPC Vision for the RFK Stadium Site

However, it is exciting to know that the Federal and District governments are collaborating and realizing the potential of the RFK Stadium site and the Anacostia River. If developed, this site alone would forever change the landscape and dynamics of DC for residents and visitors alike. And, it would drive the city miles forward in becoming a prominent international city destination.

Disclosure: All images and quoted text have been excerpted from NCPC's Extending the Legacy Plan and RFK Stadium Site Redevelopment Study


Tom Aloisi said...

Yes it's a great plan, but I don't expect any movement on it in at least another 10 years- perhaps longer, if Fenty is able to work out a deal to bring the Redskins back to DC with a new stadium on the RFK site. I'd definitely be in favor of this IF the new stadium is part of a big mixed use project like the Nationals stadium area. But this plan does NOT include trying to get Metro to put in the planned, and then halted, metro station at Oklahoma Avenue. I'm sure they're still annoyed that the people in the neighborhood opposed it 35 years ago! Not building that metro stop cost WMATA between 15 and 20 million bucks (I forget the exact amount).

Mindy said...

The person who took over the RFK Site Study after David Zaidain left for Chicago was Michelle Desiderio...don't know if it still is. The stadium under consideration for the RFK site is a 120,000 seat Superdome. This would be more than twice the seating and parking than currently exists with the concommitant land reshaping. I very much doubt that the street plan posted here would remain viable. This would be much more than merely a replacement of RFK.

Mindy said...

Forgot to mention that if you look at the current Framework Plan, the RFK site is no longer included in the plan as an area for active consideration. Comparing the last Framework Plan and the current version is interesting.

Ken said...


Where can I find information about a new stadium at the RFK site? I haven't seen anything on this proposal.

I am personally against any new stadium at this site; I am in great favor of the 2006 NCPC study. As far as I can tell, the 40+ years RFK stadium has been there, it as done little, if anything, positively to contribute to the Anacostia River, Kingman Park, Rosedale or Capitol Hill. I also think a stadium is out of context to the adjacent neighborhoods.

Considering the National Arboretum, Langston golf course, Kingman & Heritage Islands, Anacostia River Park, National Capitol Park (Poplar Point) and the potential of this site, the contiguous outdoor recreation space would be unprecedented in the city. The stadium is used maybe dozen times a year for football. And, isn't Fedex Field only 10 years old, we truly live in a disposable society to even consider a new Redskin's stadium.

Just my opinion.


Mindy said...

Below is one such article. I agree that a SuperDome would be much less desirable than the very nice plan previously posted by the NCPC. Discussions on this subject have been ongoing. Those of us fighting the giveaway of National Park Land for a walled-in boarding school were treated to a letter written by the ANC of the SMD7D01 to the Council requesting a new stadium at the RFK site at a Kingman Park Civic Association meeting several years ago. Also, as mentioned in my previous post, conversations were held with both David Zaidain and Michelle Desiderio of the National Capitol Planning Commission on this subject.

Fenty Ponders Plan to Lure Redskins With a Stadium, Perhaps at RFK Site
By David Nakamura
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 25, 2008; Page B04
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said yesterday that D.C. government officials will consider preparing a proposal to lure the Washington Redskins back to the city.
Fenty told WRC (Channel 4) that he is open to having staff members put together a proposal for how a football stadium could be built, probably at the site of RFK Stadium. The Redskins played at RFK before moving in 1997 to a new stadium, FedEx Field, in Landover.
Mayoral aides stressed that Fenty (D) and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder have not discussed a move.
"What we plan to do since the season is just ended is to see if there is a proposal that can be put together," Fenty said. "I actually think it makes a ton of sense, but I think it would be great for the District to put it down on paper for them to have something to respond to."
Fenty initially was asked about the team during a news conference yesterday in which the city announced the return of Radio One, the nation's largest African American radio broadcaster. The company will build a headquarters in its home town after being based in Maryland for a decade.
DC Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who had lunch yesterday with the city's chief financial officer, Natwar M. Gandhi, about unrelated matters, said he raised the stadium issue briefly with Gandhi. But Evans said talks are in the preliminary stages.
The subject of winning the team back has surfaced periodically over the years among city officials. Last year, it was reported that Snyder and officials from the previous city administration had spoken quietly about the possibility.
Gandhi confirmed yesterday that he spoke to Evans about it but said: "I have not seen a plan or figures or numbers. Nobody has asked me to put together a proposal. We're willing to do that. We'd have to look at the city's overall financing."
Snyder has built one of the most profitable NFL franchises in the 90,000-seat FedEx Field, the league's largest stadium. But D.C. officials believe he would be willing to listen to an offer of a stadium of equal or larger size that would include a roof and be able to host a Super Bowl, which Snyder covets.
Fenty, when he was a council member, voted against public financing for the $611 million Washington Nationals stadium. Last summer, he broke off informal talks with D.C. United for a new soccer stadium, largely because he thought the public subsidy was too costly.
Gandhi has warned that the city is in danger of overextending itself on the credit market and urged officials to limit public borrowing.
At the Radio One news conference, however, Evans joked about the joy of wooing back businesses, even ribbing Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) of Maryland. "Anytime I can lure a corporation from Maryland back into the District, I will do whatever it takes," he said. "I'm very pleased with O'Malley . . . and his sales tax and property tax increases. . . . It has made it more affordable to live in D.C. than in Maryland."
Staff writer Anita Huslin contributed to this report.

Anonymous said...

so anc7D is FOR a new skins stadium there? what's the argument for the stadium from the neighborhood's point of view? i don't know that it's clear to me

Mindy said...

The ANC Veronica Raglin wrote the letter in support of a new stadium. The residents were never asked, and only the ones who happened to be at that KPCA meeting are aware that the letter was ever sent. There was no mention of a SuperDome in her letter, and most residents still imagine that replacing RFK means 8 to 9 football games per season in a stadium the size of RFK.