Biggest Waste of Mall Space?

Do you recognize this dilapidated structure, badly in need of a paint job? Have you ever passed it on your way to a museum and wondered, “Hmmm. What a bizarre looking thingamajig. I wonder what they use that for?” Have you ever seen anyone on or around it? All of these questions cloud my brain whenever I walk by this prehistoric gazebo.

Well, according to Flickrite rockcreek:

“I used to walk by this every day when I worked at the Holocaust Museum, and finally called the library at the American History Museum one day to see if they had any info on it: it’s a bandstand, and it used to sit on the grounds of a now-demolished insane asylum in Illinois. When the asylum was closed in the 60s, it was donated to the Smithsonian. Apparently it was used for concerts in the 70s and 80s, but that was given up because the noise from the 14th St. traffic drowned out the musicians.”

What a waste of space! Here are my suggestions on what to do with this (roughly) 1/2 acre of land:

  • Build another Smithsonian Museum: The Museum of George Bush’s Great Ideas. He’s had a few great ideas in his time, like to marry Laura and have some hot party animal daughters, to mispronounce his words and be the laughing stock of the world, etc. Hopefully his next great idea will be to leave the White House quietly and never be heard from again.
  • Slap an ice skating rink in there. We’ve only got two other rinks within walking distance of this space, so what will another one hurt?
  • Turn it into one giant garbage can, an art installation if you will. It will give tourists a place to spit their gum and to throw their cigarette butts into.
  • Dig a hole a mile deep and build a giant parking garage. Charge $10 a car and watch the tourists gobble it up.
  • Turn it into a skate part so all of those punks over at Freedom Plaza have another place to tear up.
  • Build another Washington Monument there so that DC has its very own Twin Towers. Then put a catwalk between the two, charge $20 to walk across it, and watch the tourists gobble it up.
  • Build the Iraq War Memorial, aka The World War III Memorial.
  • Build a penalty box for any senator, congressman, or executive branch moron who breaks a law. Lock them up in a plexiglass box so that all of the tourists can pay $10 to take pictures of them with their camera phones.

Any other ideas? Let’s hear ’em.

7 Comments so far

  1. jlm (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 9:20 pm

    metroblogger hall of fame? me likes.


  2. Mike (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 9:29 pm

    I think if they use your idea of digging a deep hole for a parking garage, then they should call it the Martha Washington Monument.


  3. Kris (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 1:15 am

    They should stick some benches in that thing and have it be a place to picnic/avoid the sun. Perfect for nice days.


  4. wayan (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 5:27 am

    Move the bandstand to Lafayette Park and resume concerts, loudly. Maybe we can drown out the noise from across Penn Ave.


  5. Hy Hy (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 9:12 am

    What a cute litte structure. Keep it for sure. Where exactly on the mall is it located? It’d be nice shade on those hot people-watching Sunday afternoons.


  6. Max (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 10:06 am

    If they’re going to keep it, at least give it a paint job every year or two! Also, it’s roped off and has a moat around it so you can’t go anywhere near it.

    The “ghetto gazebo” is located at the corner of 14th & Constitution Ave, SE side.


  7. laura (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 9:50 am

    So – this is from my hometown. It was dedicated in 1984. The summer of the Beach Boys/ Reagan show down on the mall. ( I was there. I was a kid – but there!) It not a demolished insane aslym – rather from a State Hospital that for disable and insane. It is still open. It is a great piece of Americana. But yes – it is oddly placed and we would love to see it get some use someplace! It was used for concerts from 84-86ish.

    Enjoy!



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