The votes are in — the name of the new NoMa Parks Foundation space at the corner of 3rd Street NE and L Street NE is Swampoodle Park. The name reflects the history of the neighborhood just east of the tracks leading to Union Station, once home to one of DC's Irish communities.
A name from local history
The neighborhood a few blocks northeast of Union Station was settled by working class Irish residents in the mid-1800s. The name 'Swampoodle' comes from the frequent floods of nearby Tiber Creek during the rainy season, which would leave the ground swampy and full of puddles.
Swampoodle was among a list of possible names suggested by Pentagram Design, which NoMa Parks hired for the branding of its large park by the Metropolitan Branch Trail in August. Other ideas included Old City, another historic name for the neighborhood, and something containing Loree Murray, the name of a community activist who lived in the area.
“The name of this park will shape how people perceive it,” said Pentagram associate partner Britt Cobb at an August community meeting on the name.
Participants in an online survey selected Swampoodle Park from two other possible names: Old City Corner and 3rd and L Park. The survey was conducted in November, and a full two thirds of the 1,500 votes cast were for Swampoodle.
However, the name is not final. Councilmember Charles Allen plans to introduce a bill soon naming the park “Swampoodle” to the DC Council, and it will ultimately go to Mayor Muriel Bowser for approval.
One down, one to go
Next up for a name in NoMa Parks' growing portfolio of green space is the two-acre space adjacent the Metropolitan Branch Trail in Eckington.
Initial ideas floated in August include using “Union” from nearby Union Station and Union Market in the name, or that of notable past resident Amos Kendall who donated land for what became Gallaudet University.
NoMa Parks plans to conduct an online survey to select a name for the large park as well.