WASHINGTON, D.C. – Meridian Hill Park, known locally as Malcolm X Park, recently reopened to visitors after Consigli Construction Co., Inc. completed the historic preservation of the lower plaza level. Consigli was selected by the National Park Service to oversee the project, which included constructing a new accessible route through the lower plaza level to provide barrier-free entry to the park. Consigli’s work also included restoring the park’s historic features.
Historic Meridian Hill Park was once occupied by President John Quincy Adams’ home. The process to convert the land into a public park was initiated in 1914 and completed in 1936. The park occupies an entire city block along 16th Street NW and was named for its location on the exact longitude of the original District of Columbia milestone marker established in 1791. The park features early examples of concrete aggregate, a new medium of construction pioneered by craftsman J.J. Earley in 1915. During the park’s restoration, Consigli worked closely with their trade partner, Atlantic Refinishing and Restoration, to install over 13,000 square feet of exposed aggregate paving to match the original finish. Consigli also installed a new accessible ramp in three sections and completed other modernizations, including adding new stormwater drains and pipes.
“In order to successfully restore Meridian Hill Park, our team had to enter the mind of J.J. Earley to learn not only the how, but the why, this historic space was constructed nearly one hundred years ago to create a masterwork of exposed aggregate concrete design,” said Naomi Doddington, Project Manager and Historic Preservationist at Consigli. “The challenge in delivering these critical renovations and modernizations was significant, but we are immensely proud of the end result.”
“I have worked on many amazing projects throughout my twenty-year career, but Meridian Hill Park is especially significant, as this park a special place not only in Washington, D.C.’s history, but in my family’s, too, as it was where my father first met my mother,” said Sandra Rosario, Compliance Manager at Consigli. “It was an honor to work on restoring this park and support the restoration of a place where future generations will be able to create lifelong memories.”
In keeping with its commitment to do minimal harm to the existing environment around its projects, Consigli also constructed a suspended pavement system that allowed space for the roots of mature trees to continue to grow. Throughout the preservation process, Consigli took additional steps to work safely around the installation of dozens of trees, shrubs, and other plants facilitated by the National Park Service.