Thursday, July 19, 2012


THEARC Hosts Final Presentation of the 11th Street Recreational Bridge Concept Designs

Designed by Local Teens, July 16 – 27, 2012

For Immediate Release:

Media Contacts:  Scott Kratz,, (202) 669-0951

Tanya Washington-Stern,, (202) 442-7635

WHAT: Teens from the District’s Summer Youth Employment Program are helping to transform an aged out freeway bridge into a recreation destination high above the Anacostia River.  The D.C. Office of Planning, working with THEARC, has tasked 20 teens to create their own concepts for an 11th Street Recreation Bridge.  These concepts will be used by the Office of Planning to inform planning decisions for youth activities and programs on the potential 11th Street Recreation Bridge.

The old 11th Street Bridges that connect southeast DC with communities east of the river have reached the end of their lifespan, and replacement bridges are now under construction. The D.C. Office of Planning along with several District agencies is exploring the idea to use the base of one of the bridges to create a park for active recreation, arts and environmental education connecting the communities of Ward 6, 7, and 8 including Capitol Riverfront, Historic Anacostia, Fairlawn, and Capitol Hill. Teens will create their own design ideas and programming concepts for transforming the old 11th Street bridge into a premier recreation destination.  Teens will research ideas and activities for the bridge, study bridge construction and design, interview and survey residents, and discuss plans with District officials from the District Department of Transportation, Department of Health, and the District Department of Environment. On Friday, July 27, teens will unveil their proposals in a public program at THEARC.

WHO: Teens working with mentors – architects, engineers, planners, community leaders – to generate ideas to transform an old freeway bridge into a park above the Anacostia River

WHEN / WHERE: July 16 – 27, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm  1922 MLK Jr. Avenue, SE Washington, D.C. 20020

WHEN / WHERE:  Friday, July 27, 3:00 - 4:30 pm, Final Presentation at the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC), 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE, Washington, D.C.  20020

About the 11th Street Recreation Bridge Concept
For the last several months, the D.C. Office of Planning has hosted a series of community meetings to explore the idea of creating a new architectural icon using an old span of the 11th Street Bridge that can be a gateway to a healthier, connected Capitol Community. The 11th St. Recreation Bridge Concept has four goals:
·       Create a “One City” icon, connecting the city over the Anacostia River;
·       Envision  a recreation hub that links the destinations along both sides of the river;
·       Produce an exceptional design that meets community aspirations, focuses on the environment, and is self-sustaining in terms of operations and maintenance; and                                                                                                                                            
·       Generate community involvement in shaping the Recreation Bridge Project and seeing it realized

For more details about OP’s 11th Street Bridge project, please visit

About the Summer Youth Employment Program
The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) is a locally funded initiative sponsored by the Department of Employment Services (DOES) that provides District youth ages 14 to 21 with enriching and constructive summer work experiences through subsidized placements in the private and government sectors.

Officially opened in October 2005, The Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) is a $27 million, 110,000 square-foot campus located east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC's Ward 8.  THEARC is a home away from home for the many underserved children and adults of East of the River, enabling them to participate in dance classes, music instruction, fine arts, academics, continuing education, mentoring, tutoring, recreation, medical and dental care, and other services at a substantially reduced cost or no cost at all.

In addition to THEARC Theater, a 365-seat community theater that is the only theater of any kind located east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC, THEARC includes a regulation size gymnasium, libraries, computer labs, classrooms, dance, music and visual arts studios, an art gallery, public playgrounds, gardens and other first-rate facilities.

In total Building Bridges and its ten resident partners at THEARC deliver more than $11 million worth of cultural and community services to more than 80,000 people annually.


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