Located high on a ridge overlooking Washington, D.C. from the northeast, the park was designed as the active recreational component of the Fort Lincoln New Town residential community. Conceived under the Johnson administration as part of a 1969 plan to offer racially and economically balanced housing and amenities, the neighborhood development was never fully completed.
The six-acre park occupies one of 68 former Civil War ramparts, now known as the Fort Circle Parks, and was designed to interpret the site’s military history and its elevated position. Five open-air structures providing extensive views of the surrounding area from atop the historic earthworks, shaded by clusters of honey locusts designed to grow through the wood-latticed pavilions.
The center of the park sits lower than the perimeter earthworks, with a mix of small berms, lawn, rubberized turf and paved areas for different types of play. Benches on lawn offer seating under shade trees, facing a brick climbing pyramid with a moat. Built into the grade, another play area suggests the historic battlements and has varied scales for climbing, sliding, and scrambling. Permanent seating and tables designed for board games are situated on the perimeter, near a concrete stair-step amphitheater that connects to the school. The park’s many levels are all connected by ramps for accessibility.