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After more than 10 years in the planning and approval process, DC Water finalized plans to move forward with a new water storage tower on the campus of St. Elizabeths, near the Saint Elizabeths Hospital National Historic Landmark (NHL), adjacent to the newly constructed hospital facility, east of Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., SE and north of Alabama Ave., SE. The new water tower will allow for demolition of the existing tower, which was originally built in the 1930s.
Many areas east of the Anacostia River have historically experienced low water pressure. DC Water planned years ago to improve the pressure on a new pumping station, water tower and transmission mains. Together, these elements would create a new water service zone. While the pumping station was built in 2008, the water storage tower was delayed in approvals and permitting.
The first water tower DC Water has built in 71 years, the new 170-foot-high storage tank at St. Elizabeths will store two million gallons of water.
DC Water coordinated with nearly a dozen agencies for approvals or permits for the tower, including the Federal Aviation Administration, District Department of Transportation, Historic Preservation Board, DC Mayor’s Office, and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
As part of the planning process, DC Water commissioned a competition, soliciting design proposals for the tower. Because the new water tower will be visible across the city, the design aesthetic was critical to this project. DC Water was looking for something that was beyond a typical water tower. MMD partnered with LSG Landscape Architecture for the submission. The MMD team took inspiration from the importance of skylines to define their cities. The submitted design received a 2017 American Society of Landscape Architects honor award. The design submission was titled, “A Community’s Relationship with Water: Congress Heights.”
(This project was completed by Marshall Moya Design.)