Ice skating at Washington Harbour?

Photo by The Georgetown Dish
The Washington Harbour owner's concept of their new ice rink
The Washington Harbour owner's concept of their new ice rink

A major renovation and redesign has been proposed for Washington Harbour, including plans to add a new rink to the pool and fountain at the center of the Harbour.  As presented to Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E on Monday by Charles McGrath of MRP Realty, the rink would be part of a new outdoor retail/bar/restaurant space, reconfigured to reduce its present “seasonality,” make it more pedestrian- and family-friendly, increase the view across the water to the Kennedy Center, update many of the design features and raise the level of “white noise” to benefit the residential occupants.

Charles McGrath of MRP Realty presents the plans to modernize the outdoor space (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Charles McGrath of MRP Realty presents the plans to modernize the outdoor space

The central element would be the new ice rink and other changes to the fountain and tower.  According to McGrath, it would modeled on the rink at Rockefeller Center and Reston Town Center and be the largest sheet of ice in the District. It would be open from November to March, 9 am to 10 pm, with strict controls on patronage from bar clientele to keep it family-friendly and safe for children.

Overall reaction was generally positive, with one resident calling the ice rink “a genius idea,” although he and others had misgivings about the proximity of the outdoor bars to the ice-skaters.  Others said that the ice-rink would be out-of-scale and out-of-character with what’s there now. 

Arthur Cotton Moore, the original architect, objects to the (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Arthur Cotton Moore, the original architect, objects to the

The most direct criticism came from the original architect of Washington Harbour, Arthur Cotton Moore.  While he pointed out that he always supported ice-skating, he objected to the “uglification” in the name of “modernization” of the space.  He particularly objected to the proposed changes to many the original architectural elements, including removal, that now relate the present Washington Harbour buildings to its historic Georgetown  neighbors. 

The summer view of the modernized, year-round Washington Harbour central tower and fountain (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) The summer view of the modernized, year-round Washington Harbour central tower and fountain

The ANC unanimously passed a resolution addressed to the Old Georgetown Board stating “general approval” of the MRP proposal, including the new fountain and ice rink as a “pleasant addition” to the neighborhood and that the parties work to “restore the [buildings] to their original grandeur.”

0 Comments For This Article

Marguerite

This is fantastic!

Regina

Love the concept:)

Anonymous

More retail in Georgetown? I hear Barnes and Noble is leaving . We don't need more empty space , retailers seem to be bailing as fast as they can go! Like the ice rink!

Rayna

Going to be awesome! Just what Georgetown needs!

Anonymous

The Barnes and Noble is already leased.