Downtowner DC: Eisenhower Memorial, Franklin Park, 202Creates

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The Eisenhower Memorial opened on Sept. 17. Courtesy Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission.

Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial Is Open

D.C.’s eighth presidential memorial opened to the public on Thursday, Sept. 17, with a streamed dedication ceremony that evening. Dwight D. Eisenhower gets his turn with a four-acre, Frank Gehry-designed memorial in a former parking lot across Independence Avenue SW from the National Air and Space Museum. During World War II, Gehry served in the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, which Eisenhower led.

Trees to Fall for Franklin Park Upgrade

Franklin Park, which sits on five acres south of K Street between 13th and 14th Streets NW, has been the subject of a nearly $14-million renovation project, carried out by the District and the National Park Service. The Washington Post reported that, while the renderings look good, the project will require the removal of 63 out of the park’s current 105 trees. Thankfully, the Park Service plans to eventually plant 119 new trees.

202Creates Month Underway in D.C.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser launched 202Creates Month, a program to honor and showcase the District’s diverse creative community, on Aug. 29. The month kicked off with virtual performances and will finish on Sept. 30 with the 35th annual Mayor’s Arts Awards. The celebration is led by the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.

Twitter App for Copter-Watchers

If you’re anything like me, you’ve often wondered exactly what type of helicopter is flying over your area. Now, like many other things, there’s an app for that: a Twitter bot called Helicopters of DC. Run by freelance audio engineer Andrew Logan, it identifies certain helicopters in the sky over your specific neighborhood. According to Logan, a large volume of the helicopters we see and hear overhead are of the medical variety.

D.C. Tourism Hit Hard by COVID

Like many businesses this year, the D.C. tourism industry was not spared by the COVID-19 pandemic. The city is expecting a 50-percent drop in visitors in 2020, WTOP reported. The District welcomed 23 million visitors in 2019, but Destination DC has forecast only 11 million this year. This is not the first time D.C. has had to climb out of a hole. Post-9/11, it took a decade to reach the tourism numbers of the years prior to the attack.

Man Charged with Assault on Officer at RNC Protests

Federal prosecutors have filed an assault charge against an Orlando man accused of punching a D.C. police officer in a confrontation between protesters and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). Paul and his wife were surrounded by protesters as they left the White House after President Donald Trump’s Aug. 27 speech during the Republican National Convention. The officer was left with a laceration and severe swelling above his left eye.

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