MRP Realty, the owners of the Washington Harbour complex, announce yesterday that it is beginning construction to convert its fancy new fountain into an ice rink for the winter.
The 11,800-square-foot Washington Harbour Ice Rink — larger than the rinks at Rockefeller Center in New York City and the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden in Washington — will be ready to welcome its first skaters before Thanksgiving. In addition to offering open skating, discounts to college students and the opportunity to skate with Santa Claus, the rink will accommodate parties and special events, such as birthdays, family gatherings and corporate events.
11,800 is more than two-thirds the size of a full NHL ice rink. The release points out that the rink will be larger than Rockefeller Center’s and the National Gallery of Art’s. It will also be larger than the two other outdoor rinks close by D.C.: Pentagon Row and Silver Spring. At 7,200 square feet, the Silver Spring rink was cited as the largest outdoor rink between D.C. and Baltimore; so the Georgetown rink may end up being the largest outdoor rink in the whole greater metropolitan area. (New York being New York has to have the last word though. Real New Yorkers know not to use Rockefeller Center but rather the gigantic Wollman Rink in Central Park, which is a whopping 30,000 square feet).
I have been excited about this idea for a long time. This has the potential to bring a ton of life to the waterfront during a time of year when it’s typically desolate. And moreover, it has the potential to be a new community gather point. With my daughter’s birthday being square in the middle of January, I’m already looking forward to ice skating-themed birthday parties.
Topher Mathews blogs at The Georgetown Metropolitan . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.