The McMillan site, constructed in the early 20th century, was the first large-scale water purification facility in Washington, DC. The filtration plant operated until 1986, when it was sold by the federal government to the city for redevelopment. The landmarked site features 20 underground sand-filtration cells, concrete storage bin “silos,” and east-west service courts.
The master plan is designed to preserve and celebrate the site as a distinct landmark. It brings a new walkable vitality intended to create a new, vibrant, and healthy community in the heart of the nation’s capital. The site is activated by a mix of uses and an 8-acre central park which includes a community center, natural amphitheater, and a “Walking Museum” that tells the history of the site. This final design is the result of a robust public process that is truly a coordinated collaboration between architects, clients, consultants, and the community.