Here’s a fun way to add vitality to a public space: Outdoor pianos.
In 2009, Denver started adding public pianos along its busy mile-long downtown pedestrian mall. The pianos have become a popular and noticeable part of that city’s public realm. 5 years later, they’re still there, and people are still playing them.
Even if weather or careless use ruins them after one season, upright pianos aren’t particularly expensive. It would be completely practical for DC to buy one or two per year and put them in squares or circles around the central city. Roll them out in spring, and pack them back up around Thanksgiving.
The Mosaic District in Fairfax caught onto this idea a few years ago, and it could totally work great in Farragut Square or along the Georgetown waterfront.
A potentially bigger holdup might be getting the National Park Service to allow it.
We first ran this post in 2014, but since the idea is still great, we wanted to share it again!
Cross-posted at BeyondDC.