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In 2011 the National Parks Service held a competition for the redesign of Presidents Park South. Reed Hilderbrand’s design for the Park's Promenade and the renewal of the Ellipse reunites two essential parts of Washington and L’Enfant’s original Reservation No. 1—the Ellipse and the South Lawn of the White House—which have long been separated by traffic and defensive barriers. The South Promenade clarifies the most effective and proven security strategies while creating a pedestrian experience that is open, orderly, flexibly managed, and spatially unique. The proposal extends the continuum of design on the site into the 21st century through a careful, limited intervention that is respectful of history and employs ecological strategies at the forefront of the profession.
PAUL J WEINER