OUTDOOR SPACE: Where parks are central
The equally central-sounding Meridian Hill Park (commonly known as Malcolm X Park) -- so named because its 12 acres lie on a north-south axis running through the District's original milestone marker -- is, on sunny weekends, pulsing with almost carnival-like activity. Bicyclists and dog walkers mingle with picnickers, yoga practitioners, jugglers, tightrope walkers and participants in the now-famous Sunday afternoon drum circle, whose throbbing rhythms create a heartbeat that can be heard for blocks. Designed by George Burnap and executed by Horace Peaslee, the park's two-tiered layout, whose central feature is a cascading fountain, may be neoclassical, but the vibe is hip and modern. The first park to be designated a National Historic Landmark in the designed landscape category, Meridian Hill is, along with such newer entries as Yards Park in Southeast, evidence of an enduring civic commitment to open spaces.
The Washington Post