Field photo with logotype

June 2022

Commission of Fine Arts Landscaping Plan Underway on Francis Field

Posted: June 6, 2022.
Hollies in Rebecca Coder Park
New planting of "Dragon Lay Holly" as specified in approved plan.

There were shovels in the ground on Francis Field in early May, to begin the major planting phase of the rear-field landscaping plan—which was designed in 2019 and given final approval by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, on April 29, 2020.

I this phase, ten "Dragon Lady Holly" shrubs, about seven feet tall, were planted on May 7. Another fifteen are scheduled to be planted in the fall.

See full story and landscape drawings on this website

West End Library exterior
The closed West End Library, photographed May 25, 2022.

West End Library To Reopen June 11

Updated: June 9, 2022.

The West End branch of the District of Columbia Public Library, which has been closed since May 4 for a "maintenance emergency" will reopen for "full services" on June 11.

It has also been scheduled for some time to be the polling place for Precinct 4 of Ward 2, for the primary election on June 21, and an "early vote center" from June 10 to 19.

The library website notes that it will be open on June 10 for "Early Voting ONLY (no library services available)."

The main event in the primary election is a third term for Mayor Muriel Bowser, who is facing three opponents in the Democratic Primary.

The Ward 2 member of the District Council is not up for election this year. However, the Chairman of the Council is up for election, as are two at-large members of the Council, and the Attorney General of the District. (See D.C. Board of Elections website for detail.)

The West End branch is located at 2301 L Street NW. Hours for early voting will be 8:30 am to 7:00 pm, according to D.C. Board of Elections. There is also a "Mail Ballot Drop Box" outdoors at that address.

The West End Library Friends (WELF) explained in an email message of June 1, that the long closing was due to a "water emergency". We learn further that it was the result of a pipe leak two-floors above in the luxury residential area of the ten-floor, mixed-use building.

The WELF message continued: "The area affected is the entryway and the section where we usually pick up 'holds'."

It has been a long time since anyone voted in person at the West End Library, which was the Precinct 4 polling place for at least 25 years before the building was redeveloped as part of the high-end Westlight project constructed between 2014 and 2018.

Empty Pool with huge repair of pool wall
Southwest section of Francis Swimming Pool, photographed May 23, 2022.

Francis Pool Closed This Summer

Huge Crack Discovered in Deep End

Posted: June 6, 2022.

The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced in January that "some stabilizations and needed repairs" were going to be made to the decking, plaster, and plumbing before the Francis Swimming Pool opened as scheduled for the summer season.

In the course of that work, however, they determined that the southwest corner of the pool shell was "leaning and cracking."

The D.C. Department of General Services, which is responsible for maintenance of public property, states that "contractors discovered unexpected structural problems" in a "Francis Pool Project Update Statement."

The photo at right shows part of the 60-foot section of the pool wall that is currently being replaced.

The original Francis Swimming Pool opened on July 14, 1928, and was the first public pool in the District in which African-American residents were permitted to swim. It, too, developed a serious leak and was replaced in 1992 by the current pool.

Christopher Dyer, a DPR representative, told the Foggy Bottom Association meeting of May 31 that the pool would be closed all summer and that DPR hopes "to bring it on-line in 2023."

Benches in Rebecca Coder Park
"Rebecca Coder Park" area of Francis Field.

ANC-2A To Meet June 15 at Ritz-Carlton Hotel

FFF on Agenda with 2023 FFF-DPR Partnership Plan

Posted: June 9, 2022.

For the first time ever, the Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC-2A) will meet at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel at 1150 22nd Street NW on June 15. The session is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm.

This will be a hybrid meeting, and will also be conducted on Zoom as a video conference. See the ANC-2A website for the agenda and Zoom coordinates.

Friends of Francis Field (FFF) is on the agenda for 15 minutes to make a presentation regarding the renewal of its partnership agreement with DPR.

The main projects FFF wishes to complete with private funding are the rear-field landscaping of Francis Field, the improvement of the "Rebecca Coder Park" area outside the playing field, and the Francis Tree Lab, which is concerned with the health and care of 50-some trees that have planted on the field since 2017.

FFF will also encourage ANC-2A to play the major role in determining the "program issues" and priorities for the playing field area and the Francis Dog Park.

Copyright 2022 Friends of Francis Field