Culture critic Philip Kennicott has a vision for the National Mall that I found shocking at first, then really wonderful. Though it'll never, ever happen. That's because it means no more massive political protests, no more Folklife Festival (now THAT I'd miss), and the retiring of war memorials after all the survivors have died off (a shocking but excellent idea, I must say).
But garden designers and park users everywhere will be instructed by a little history, starting with how the original plan for Washington was pretty modest and human-scale. Then came the now-sacred 1901 McMillan Plan, which created an "epic, empty vista that celebrated the imperial splendor of the republic". Kennicott's idea of bringing trees back to the space would certainly fix one perennial problem we've addressed here – the utter unsustainability of all that hard-packed turfgrass.