courtesy of ‘afagen’
The City Paper’s Lydia DePillis broke the news early this morning that the Solar Decathlon, usually held on the National Mall near the Smithsonian Castle, is moving down to the National Harbor. The change in venue will certainly affect the attendance of the event, which always felt to me to be more discovery-by-accident than “Hey, let’s go see the solar houses!” Add in that the only way to get there by public transit is a bus that runs just twice an hour from the Branch Ave metro, and you’ve got a recipe for hiding this great event from the public eye.
Way to go, Department of Energy and Interior, that was some bang-up thinking so your event planner could get a few more rewards points from the Gaylord hotel chain.
It’s not the DoE’s fault; the National Park Service told them they couldn’t use the Mall this year.
Surely they could’ve set up at any of the following locations in DC:
1) RFK Stadium
2) Half Street/Yards Park near Nationals Park
3) The Ellipse
4) Lower Senate Park
5) Farragut Square & McPherson Square
6) F Street near Verizon Center
So, while the Mall might’ve been unavailable, it’s hardly the only spot in town that could host such an event…
In trying to find a silver lining, let me say that this event, when it’s on The Mall, is an audience of choirs from the same church so to speak.
Holding it at National Harbor will reach the visiting family from Suburbia who has a car for each of their children and, well, you get the picture. These types are the ones who need it the most.
Having said that, they need to bring it back to The Mall for 2012.
National Harbor will be a fresh new venue for the Solar Decathlon. It is easy access for the entire metro area and after a visit to see these incredible solar homes, guests will be able to enjoy the waterfront and take in some great restaurants. Change is good. Embrace it!
Good point RV, although methinks if RV stands for Recreation Vehicle, you were poking fun at the situation :-)
But yes, the new Wilson Bridge has improved things dramatically, including the new bike path, and one could take the ferry over from Old Town too.
There is no good reason to take the Decathlon off the Mall, especially when they allow a 100,000 person book fair to take place over a weekend on the same dates that were formerly given to the Decathlon. The houses were designed for the Mall site; the sponsors who paid for the solar projects were told they’d be on the Mall;the contracts with the students provide for re-sodding of the Mall and any other repairs; 20 student teams from all over the world were invited almost two years ago and now we’ve kicked them off the Mall? American diplomacy?