Back in April I reported on how pushback from neighbors in the Langdon neighborhood of Northeast had led the city to revisit plans for a memorial to go-go legend Chuck Brown that initially included a 900-seat amphitheater.
The city scaled back the amphitheater plans, announced by Mayor Vincent C. Gray at Brown’s May 2012 funeral, and three months later it eliminated the amphitheater from Chuck Brown Park entirely.
City officials announced the change of plans at a June 29 community meeting; the revised plans from Marshall Moya Design, which include a statue of Brown, a plaza and models of musical instruments, were posted on a city Web site and the local advisory neighborhood commissioner’s blog. The change was reported Monday by Washington City Paper’s Aaron Wiener.
The commissioner, Nolan Treadway, said the change of heart on the amphitheater has neighbors — who were worried about noise, trash and parking — generally satisfied. “From that point on, everybody in the neighborhood was pretty excited and happy they reconsidered,” he said.
Treadway said the city’s Department of General Services has told them they hope to break ground on Aug. 22, Brown’s birthday. A spokesman said that is the tentative date, but the plans are being finalized and will be presented to the community first.
The neighbors are happy, but is the Brown family happy?
Brown daughter Cherita Whiting, who previously expressed support for a smaller amphitheater design on behalf of the family, said she could speak only for herself in supporting the theater-free design. “I think it will be nice to have a statue there,” she said. “Just to have the name up in nice, safe environment for kids to go and play, I think people will support that.”
Brown’s son Bill Thompson said he felt similarly: “Either way, it’s still an honor because it’s something in my dad’s name.”