District residents began working in the early 1970s to convert an area of the Georgetown waterfront, derelict for decades, into a public park. A design for the park was finally approved by the National Park Service (NPS) in the late 1990s.
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However, the park's design was in flux even after its approval. For example, the large sail-like sculptures by Jody Pinto that were to have marked overlooks in the western portion of the park were eliminated.
The eastern portion is meant to be more urbane than the western portion. West of Wisconsin Avenue orderliness disappears, as does continuous access to the river's edge.