11.14.2006

The Mall... maybe not what you are thinking

I grew up going to the The Mall
maybe not the same type of mall that you are thinking
yes, I went to that type of Mall as well

but in DC when people say, "The Mall" they are not refering to White Flint, Tysons, or Montgomery Mall which is no longer called Montgomery Mall

no... in DC when someone says, "The Mall" they are referring to the stretch of land downtown that is flanked with museums and home to many national monuments
my childhood involved all sorts of parades and museum visits

there were kite flying festivals and revolutionary war re-enactments


I grew older the mall was a place for picnics , frisbee games,
and of course ralleys and concerts
that was when The Mall was many city blocks of grass

now the mall is quickly being paved over

I have no objection to the MLK Memorial

the Museum of the Native American Indian does not bother me
the World War II memorial is just fine it is not the memorials I am against
it is the placement of the memorials
the removal of green space
green space that is rapidly becoming a patchwork quilt of concrete and marble
each and every new memorial and museum claims to be the last

where would the Indians stand on the use of this space?

would they be fine in the creation of The Mall Annex 2?

the Air and Space musuem has already started in on this idea
and I hear from my two boys that it is amazing
but why not continue to build the future memorials at this area...

let there be another green space for people to roam and wander from statue to statue, from museum to museum, from monument to memorial
rather than putting everything three inches away from each other
it has gotten to the point that our obesse tourists hardly need their Seagways to get from point of interest to point of interest
I understand the placement and proximity of the MLK memorial

but
I do not think that the people who are putting the memorials on the mall realize the signficance of the placement of this memorial is due to the fact that The Mall has a history of being a place of protest
where the people could gather

but now
there is less land to gather
far less grass for a family to throw a blanket

far less grass for the kids to fly a kite or throw a frisbee

the mall is littered with statues and memorials
the wonderful Korean memorial is less wonderful with its "no touch" policy the Museum of the Native American Indian obstructs the view of the Capitol Building on that Independence Ave approach
the MLK memorial will be an area within the Cherry Blossoms
a place where the Cherry Blossoms were fine by themselves

I went to countless concerts and rallies a mental scrap book of images from many Fourth of Julys

the building needs to be stopped

the mall needs to halt its over memorialization
the statues and memorials are more significant when they stand alone when the monuments crush in close to each other the ideas get blurred
the Jefferson memorial is fantastic in its solitude

the separation of the Washington Monument from the Lincoln memorial by the grand relecting pool made sense... now the WW II memorial breaks up that linkage

what is next?

there will be more some other group will realize that we need just one more monument, one last museum, one last memorial on our mall no it has to stop

The Mall still has so much to offer
there is still so much going on
but... the development needs to stop
the Mall is not just for tourists

wikipedia The National Mall
NPS The Mall and the Monuments
SAVE OUR MALL
The Mall Conservancy

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