The Josephine Butler Parks Center in NW Honored as One City Location of the Month

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Josephine Butler Parks Center in NW Honored as One City Location of the Month

The DC Office of Motion Picture and Television Development is pleased to recognize the Josephine Butler Parks Center (The Parks Center) in Northwest Washington as the March 2013 One City Location of the Month. The Parks Center, an 18,000 sq. ft., 40-room mansion, is a multi-use facility for conferences, parties, seminars, performances, and a host of filming opportunities. Formerly the Embassy of Hungary and Brazil, the Italian Renaissance-revival style architecture provides a grand setting for any type of film event.

The Josephine Butler Parks Center is situated on an elevated, landscaped half-acre lot in a prime location of the nation’s capital overlooking Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park. The Center recently went through an exterior restoration to resemble its former 1927 Renaissance Revival design, with adaptations to serve a broad range of modern needs and environmental retrofitting. The Center includes a multi-purpose performance and special event facility, art exhibition and gallery space, a visitor center, a media center, an after-school program space, a neighborhood revitalization center, a job training and referral service center, a teaching kitchen, and a non-profit incubator loft.

From Fifteenth Street, a circular walkway leads to the main entrance under the marble-columned Port Cochere. From the second floor, the Terrace Balcony offers a beautiful western exposure to sunsets across the Meridian Hill Park. The Center features vaulted 14-foot ceilings with original moldings, large working fireplaces with carved wooden mantels, and floor-to-ceiling windows with French doors opening to wrought iron balconies.

The Parks Center has had a range of corporate clients to use the facility for filming including BBC (What Not to Wear, News), CNN, and Univision. In addition, more than 300 community and corporate clients have used the center for a wide range of arts and cultural uses including theater, dance, poetry, exhibitions, film screenings, and concerts from symphony to samba.

The Parks Center is named after the late community leader, Josephine Butler, who led the initiative to restore and complete Meridian Hill/ Malcolm X Park as what The Washington Post calls "the jewel of Washington's parks". Washington Parks & People, which received National Park Service's highest organizational award for leading the transformation of the single most violent park in the capital region into one of its safest, operates the Parks Center as a "greenhouse" for advancing Washington's parks and public spaces. The Parks Center also houses 12 community-based non-profit culture and service organizations, from the Washington Symphony Orchestra to Meridian Hill Pictures, whose co-founder Lance Kramer was recognized as the December 2012 Filmmaker of the Month.

In 2011, the DC Film Office launched its One City Location of the Month to bring attention to the wide range of varied, cinematically compelling locations that are available to film and television productions. Former One City Location of the Month recipients include the National Air and Space Museum in Southwest, the Brookland neighborhood in Northeast, Ben’s Chili Bowl in Northwest, and Barracks Row in Southeast.

To learn more about the Parks Center and to view photos please visit the Location of the Month feature. If you are interested in using the Parks Center for a future filming location, please contact us at [email protected].