(Washington D.C.) - Mayor Vincent C. Gray today joined the family of the late “Godfather of Go-Go,” Chuck Brown, and other government officials to break ground for the new Chuck Brown Memorial Park. The park and plaza will recognize his contributions as the District of Columbia’s unofficial ambassador of music. A portion of Langdon Park in Ward 5 has been designated as the site for the memorial, and the ground-breaking ceremony was held on the date that would have been Chuck Brown’s 77th birthday.
“Chuck Brown was instrumental in developing a distinctive 20th-century American music genre that incorporated other genres, and he will forever be remembered as a tireless and constant presence in American music,” Mayor Gray said. “I believe we must ensure that generations now and in the future know about this remarkable man, his music, and his connection to the District of Columbia. That is why this memorial is a befitting honor to the Godfather of Go-Go.”
In 2012, following Brown’s death, Mayor Gray designated August 22 as “Chuck Brown Day” in the District. To further ensure that Brown’s legacy is forever remembered, the Mayor signed legislation earlier this year to name a park after the late go-go legend, which will symbolize his commitment to the city.
Joining the Mayor for the ceremonial ground breaking and to unveil the new designs for the park were Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie, Department of General Services (DGS) Director Brian Hanlon, Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Director Jesús Aguirre, D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) Director Lionell Thomas, and ANC 5C 07 Commissioner Nolan Treadway.
“DPR is pleased to be a partner in this project to recognize what a phenomenal musician Chuck Brown was — and to continue using our resources to support leisure activities through the arts and through outdoor physical activities,” said DPR Director Aguirre.
The new Chuck Brown Memorial Park will pay homage to Brown with a curved, inscribed memorial wall at the entrance of the new park, where visitors can learn more about his legacy. They can play the outdoor toy drums; visit a central plaza, which can be used for entertainment; and benefit from the further renovations to the surrounding park.
The design for the memorial and park upgrades is finalized. A Request for Proposals will be issued shortly to determine the construction partners for the memorial and the park improvements.