McMillan Sand Filtration Site

Washington DC
(2010 - Ongoing)


The 25-acre McMillan slow sand filtration plant is located at the corner of Michigan Avenue and North Capitol Street in Washington, D.C. The site is part of a larger 92-acre historic fabric that comprises the McMillan Reservoir, the McMillan Slow Sand Filtration Plant, and the McMillan Pumping Station that was owned and operated by the federal government. Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. was commissioned to design a landscape plan for the entire site soon after completion of the reservoir and filtration plant that included a children's play area. The entire site is listed in the district of Columbia Inventory of Historic Sites. The 25-acre filtration plant was decommissioned by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1980 and sold to the District for future development. In 2006, after several unsuccessful development proposals, an advisory group and partnership of developers, Vision McMillan Partners, was established by the District to plan for reuse. In 2010, NBW began work with EEK (now Perkins Eastman) and Vision McMillan Partners (VMP) to create a masterplan for a mixed use development of this site. The design team led four interactive public meetings that gave neighbors and interested citizens an opportunity to weigh in on the evolving design. An overall site plan with roughly 6.5 acres of park land was completed in late 2010. NBW is currently developing landscape design guidelines for the entire site and doing Schematic Design for the north parcel which includes a medicinal/healing garden, Olmsted Walk along Michigan Avenue, and other interstitial garden spaces and walks for a medical office building complex.

Collaborators: CMS Collaborative, Inc., Irrigation Research and Design, Carve, Vincent P Rico Associates, Setty & Associates, Stroik Lighting Design, Russell Design Group

  • Historic underground filter cells at McMillan