EDITORIAL:An eyesore becomes a gateway

It has been a long time coming and not always easy, so it was good to see construction begin this week on Adams Square Mini Park.

For too long, the corner of Palmer Avenue and Adams Street has languished, with local merchants and residents waiting for the creation of a hub where children can play and the community can gather.

The beauty of this project, aside from its design aesthetics, is that it also represents a compromise. It incorporates elements that both nearby merchants and Adams Hill homeowners wanted.

It was only last year that Adams Square merchants and Adams Hill homeowners were at odds over the Streamline Moderne, historic gas station at the site.

Homeowners wanted to keep it, while merchants wanted to tear it down.

After much debate, they met in the middle, with the gas station's architecture being incorporated into the park's design.

In August 2005 the City Council sealed the compromise with a vote on the new design.

And now, there is something to cheer about.

The eyesore of the corner will soon give way to an attractive gateway to the business district.

As soon as construction is completed, in about a month, the park will include a children's play area, an open lawn area for informal recreation activities and games, lighting and perimeter fencing, a drinking fountain and grove-like trees.

Canopies from the 70-year-old gas station that formerly occupied the lot will cover the park's picnic tables and benches.

And that's not all.

The park project coincides with the Adams Square street and landscaping project that will give the area of Chevy Chase Drive, Acacia Avenue, Adams Street and Park Avenue a revamped, European feel.

The $1.2-million improvement project includes landscaping, upgrading sidewalks, and a trellis near a fountain.

It's all coming together in Adams Square after years of trying.

It's an example of hard work, perseverance and compromise that is paying off.

Soon, it will be up to the community to make use of the park and make it the gathering place it was meant to be.

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