Sylvan Theater at the Washington Monument

Extending from the heart of the National Mall, a rejuvenated Sylvan Theater and Sylvan Grove will restore the tree canopy that inspired the name of the original theater nearly a century ago. The new grove and terraced lawn will define an amphitheater, where a wide range of performances and events can be seen against the stunning backdrop of the Washington Monument. The uppermost viewing terrace, a tree lined "balcony," continues across the roadway as a pedestrian bridge that crosses traffic and descends to the water's edge, linking the Mall to the Tidal Basin. An integral part of the grove is the Sylvan Pavilion, visible from the Mall, the Metro, and 15th Street. The Pavilion provides an all-weather café, bookstore, and multi-use destination for residents and visitors to the Mall. A new Ranger Station and information / exhibition center on Independence Avenue frame an arrival plaza for tour groups.

The project reinvigorates the Monument Grounds with new landscapes of performance, clarifies the visual connections between the White House, the Washington Monument, and the Jefferson Memorial, provides new physical connections between the cultural landscape of the Mall and the Tidal Basin, and most importantly, creates a transformed setting for our nation's most visible center stage.

About The Designer

WEISS/MANFREDI is a multidisciplinary design firm in New York City known for its dynamic integration of architecture, art, infrastructure, and landscape design. Founded by Marion Weiss and Michael A. Manfredi, their projects include the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, the University of Pennsylvania’s Nanotechnology Center, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Visitor Center, and the Barnard College Diana Center. They are currently redesigning the United States Embassy campus in New Delhi, India and a building for Cornell NYC Tech’s new campus on Roosevelt Island. WEISS/MANFREDI has won numerous awards and their work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Venice Biennale, the Louvre, and the Guggenheim Museum.

OLIN creates distinguished landscapes and urban designs worldwide. Their work is predicated upon social engagement, craft, detail, materiality and timelessness. Their appreciation of the urban environment is paramount. They love cities. They celebrate their complexities, contradictions, and constraints. They believe in their continued evolution and enjoy collaboratively shaping the way they look and function. OLIN’s celebrated projects include Bryant Park, Canary Wharf, Battery Park City, the J. Paul Getty Center, and the Barnes Foundation. OLIN’s current work includes a comprehensive master plan for 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, the waterfront of downtown Alexandria, Virginia, and the competition-winning 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, D.C.