“The whole site would need to be redone,” he said. He also said it might be difficult to access the park, which sits near a busy intersection adjacent to the Willard InterContinental Hotel.
He said the proposal at the Mall would not have altered the existing D.C memorial and, if anything, the national designation would have elevated the site and attracted more visitors.
In January, an official for the National Capital Region of the Park Service told members of Congress that the 2003 ban on new structures at the Mall may also prevent any changes to the city’s memorial.
Mr. Fountain said he is not keen on seeing Congress make exceptions to the law, but an allowance to erect a new World War I memorial “would be a fitting one.”
The D.C. memorial was dedicated by President Hoover in 1931 to honor the 26,000 city residents who fought in World War I and the 499 who died.
The Park Service and city officials celebrated the reopening of the memorial in November after a yearlong, $2.3 million project to refurbish the domed, round, columned structure and conduct much-needed landscaping around the site.
The council’s promotion of Pershing Park injects new life into the debate, although its timing is “nothing more than we’re getting around to it,” D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, a Democrat, said.
“The issue really is, ‘Is it a fitting memorial?’” Mr. Mendelson said of Pershing Park. “And I think it’s excellent.”