On this 113-acre site near Howard University, the Army Corps of Engineers constructed a reservoir in 1901 and a sand filtration facility in 1907 as a source for DC’s water supply. The site also served as a public park designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. as a major element of the “emerald necklace” of parklands surrounding the City. At the beginning of World War II a chain link fence was erected around the property as a security measure. The site was designated a DC landmark in 1991 and listed on the National Register in 2013.

The 25 acres encompassing the filtration plant towers and vaults were sold to the DC Government in 1987. In 2006 the City retained the firm EYA to develop a master plan for the site, which envisions a mixed use of high-rise buildings, lower rise residential structures, a community center, and some parkland. A neighborhood group has challenged the design and implementation procedure. The Committee of 100 does not object to development of the site but believes that the current proposal is too dense and high in relation to its prominent location. The Committee of 100’s Historic Preservation Subcommittee is monitoring the situation as it evolves.


Document Library

McMillan Reservoir Park


C100 McMillan Reservoir Amicus Brief

Cornish Hitchcock

Amicus brief on behalf of C100 and DC Preservation League urging reversal in the prior case involving development of McMillan Park due to the importance of the questions presented regarding the proper interpretation of the Historic Landmark and Historic Protection Act of 1978.

Date added: August 17, 2018

C100 Brief For Amici Curiae CURIAE McMillan Mayors Agent Decision

Cornish F. Hitchcock

For these reasons, the demolition and subdivision decisions of the Mayor’s Agent should be vacated and remanded for plenary consideration of the proposal to subdivide the McMillan Park Reservoir Historic District.

Date added: April 20, 2016

C100 Membership Resolution Regarding Development Of The McMillan Reservoir Site

Erik Hein

The Committee of 100 on the Federal City does not object to development on the site, but rejects the proposed development plan in its current form based upon several key points.

Date added: May 16, 2012