The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) and Architect of the Capitol (AOC) will provide a safe and accessible route from Bartholdi Park to the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial and upgrade the aging infrastructure of the historic Park.
Bartholdi Park, a two-acre historic park in the USBG jurisdiction was developed in 1932 and is located south of the USBG Conservatory. For the last 85 years, Bartholdi Park has served as a demonstration garden where visitors can learn the latest horticultural techniques translatable to their home gardens and landscapes. It is also a favorite location of visitors and employees of Capitol Hill buildings. The Park's focal point is a magnificent classical fountain created by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, sculptor of the Statue of Liberty, for the 1876 Centennial Exposition.
While the Bartholdi Fountain was restored in 2011, the Park has not been updated since its installation in 1932. Improvements will replace aging infrastructure, improve seating areas, restore the currently non-functional northwest fountain and realign pathways for compliance, accessibility and connection to the newly installed American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial located adjacent to the Park. The improvement project was designed and will be built using the Sustainable SITES Initiative, a system of criteria for sustainable landscape design and construction.
Why is Bartholdi Park under restoration?
Due to accessibility, life safety issues and deterioration, the concrete paths and irrigation need to be replaced. With completion of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in the Fall of 2014, accessibility has become an increasing concern as visitors traverse from the new memorial to Hill buildings and vice versa.
What are the benefits of the project?
The project will provide an accessible route through the park via Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant sidewalks and ramps. Improved garden features will focus on sustainability and conservation. New seating areas and lighting will enhance safety.
What are the impacts of this project on staff and visitors?
During construction, the majority of the park will be fenced-in, but the accessible paths around the Park will remain open. Progress in the Park will be visible through construction fence windows and from the canopy walkway in The Tropics Room of the USBG Conservatory. The pedestrian path in front of the USBG Administration Building through the Park will remain open during the majority of construction; it will be closed for a short period to replace existing steps with an ADA compliant ramp. Removing deteriorating paving and using small earth moving and planting equipment will create some noise, but should be highly localized and have minimal impact on pedestrains.
For additional questions related to this project, please contact Devin Dotson, Public Affairs Specialist for the USBG, at 202.306.6743.