Completed in 2011, Georgetown Waterfront Park is one of the country’s newest national parks. Spanning the distance from the Key Bridge to 31st Street, N.W., it’s the culmination of many years of fundraising and advocacy for a green space along the Potomac River. The park, commonly known as Wisconsin Avenue Plaza, provides scenic vistas of the river, access to the riverbank and an arching fountain. Park visitors also enjoy awe-inspiring views of the Key Bridge, Theodore Roosevelt Island and the Kennedy Performing Arts Center. The grassy hills, leafy trees and promenade of the park, designed by Wallace, Roberts and Todd, complement the natural curves of the river. Joining with other waterfront parks, Georgetown Waterfront Park is the last link in a chain of green space that traces the 225-mile path of the Potomac from Cumberland, Maryland to Mount Vernon, Virginia.
Planning for the park began in 1968 when the then blighted industrial space was identified as future parkland by the National Capital Planning Commission. In 1985, the mayor of Washington D.C. transferred 10 acres to the commission for the proposed park. A movie theater and the Washington Harbor Complex occupy a site that was once the Georgetown incinerator. The new park draws regular visitors that enjoy the activities that take place along the riverfront, such as the signature sport of rowing and the interactive labyrinth.