c/o National Coalition
     to Save Our Mall
P.O.Box 4709
Rockville, MD 20849
Phone: 301-340-3938


The National Mall 3rd Century Initiative is a program of the National Coalition to Save Our Mall, a nonprofit, 501c3, citizens’ organization founded in 2000 that seeks to preserve the integrity of the National Mall as our national gathering place and symbol of founding ideals. Read our December 2008 report, "Rethinking The National Mall," the culmination of our work over the past 4 years.

The 3rd Century Initiative was created out of citizens’ concern for the Mall’s future. With continuing pressures for new construction –- memorials, museums, and security barriers –- the historic open space is under growing threat. What is the future of the Mall? Can current policies that impose a moratorium on construction succeed? Is the Mall "finished," a "substantially completed work of civic art," as Congress has stated? What can private citizens do to work towards a vibrant future for the 21st century National Mall?

These are the questions the 3rd Century Initiative asked as it began its work in late 2003. At a January 2004 public forum, representatives of successful citizen-based groups — New York City’s Central Park Conservancy and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Recreational Parks — spoke about their groups as possible models for a public Conservancy. Three workshops in May 2004 focused on major themes: The Mall and Design, the Mall and the City of Washington, and the Mall and the Visitor. We published a report, The Future of The National Mall, in October 2004. Since then we have been discussing our ideas about the Mall’s history and future with Congressional members and staff, government agencies, and the public.

When we began our work, we believed that the Mall’s historic visions and integrity needed to be preserved. We came to understand, though, that the most urgent need is for a new 100-year vision, in the tradition of the 1791 L’Enfant Plan and the 1901-1902 McMillan Plan, to allow the Mall to continue to evolve with our democracy. As a result, we shifted our immediate focus toward contemplating the future—a 3rd Century Mall.

There is a need for an independent McMillan-type commission to create a new vision and framework for the National Mall’s next 100 years. And there is need for unified management – a Mall conservancy or board of regents – to work with the six or more managing agencies and the public in implementing the new vision for the National Mall. Congress, the President, and the American people will have to work together to achieve this goal.

W. Kent Cooper, FAIA, Coordinator, 202-333-6210 w.kent.cooper@verizon.net

Judy Scott Feldman, Ph.D.,Chair, National Coalition to Save Our Mall, 301-340-3938 jfeldman@savethemall.org