Alexandria, VA

An Alexandria Living Legend and longtime advocate for public access to the waterfront died last Wednesday in his Old Town.

Engin Artemel served in the City of Alexandria Department of Planning for ten years and was Planning Director from 1997-1984. He was 81 years old.

“One of his most notable contributions to the City of Alexandria was the opening of the Alexandria waterfront to residents and the general public, planned through careful attention to historical precedent and in close collaboration with community leaders,” said his daughter, Deniz Artemel. “He also led the revitalization of lower King Street.”

According to his Living Legends profile, Artemel played a key role in the establishing which areas of the cohesive waterfront belonged to whom, and working on advocating on the city’s behalf for opening up public access to previously inaccessible portions of the waterfront.

Artemel’s vision is clear in the city’s Waterfront Plan, an ongoing process of establishing a walkable waterfront along the eastern edge of Old Town.

After serving as the planning director, Artemel founded Artemel International which exported his experience in urban planning — particularly on waterfronts — to the Middle East and the former Soviet Union.

Artemel was named a Living Legend of Alexandria in 2009. His funeral was officiated by former Mayor Bill Euille and Bud Hart at Ivy Hill Cemetery on June 19th.

Deniz Artemel said that in lieu of flowers, her father would have wanted to be remembered by taking a stroll and “enjoy his beloved Old Town Alexandria waterfront.”

Photo courtesy Deniz Artemel

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