City officials this morning released renderings of the city’s recreational tribute to go-go godfather Chuck Brown — a $1 million steel-and-wood music pavilion on the grounds of Langdon Park in Northeast Washington.
The bandshell faces outdoor seating built into an earthen berm and surrounded by magnolia trees and backed by a copse of evergreens. Beside it stands a “timeline tower” listing Brown’s most famous songs in chronological order.
The architects, Marshall Moya Design, said the pavilion “follow[s] the ancient design concepts that the Romans used to build open-air amphitheaters.” In any case, it’s a lot more impressive than the initial plans for Chuck Brown Park.
It will be an all-too-rare locally oriented memorial, Mayor Vincent C. Gray said Thursday. ”A lot of our monuments, which are iconic, are really a tribute to people who have national significance,” he said. “We have so many of those, and we just want to make sure we recognize that we have over 600,000 people in the city, many of whom made an important contribution to the city. … Chuck was one of those.”
Mayor Gray said the pavilion was created “in order the make sure we don’t forget Chuck,” and he added, “It would be a place where young musicians in the future will be able to come and perform and hopefully perform some of Chuck’s great songs.”
The same design firm that restored the interior of the historic Howard Theatre where Brown often performed, Marshall Moya Design, also designed the Chuck Brown Pavilion.
Brown daughter Cherita Whiting said the final design was one of several presented for the family’s blessing. Construction will begin on the memorial soon, and Whiting said she hoped to see a ribbon-cutting May 16, the first anniversary of Brown’s passing, or Aug. 22, which would have been his 77th birthday.
“I think my dad would be very proud and extremely happy to be honored like that,” she said.
Tim Craig contributed to this post.