Update on 703-707 Newton Place Development, Named Whitney Row.

Posted November 24, 2014 by Kent
Categories: Architecture, Development, Housing

Tags: , ,
703-707 Newton Place, NW.

703-707 Newton Place, NW.

According to the Lock7 Development Website, the framing is nearing completion at their project at 703-707 Newton Pl. NW, which they have named Whitney Row.  They expect  completion to be in spring 2015.

Furthermore, Lock7 writes that the electrical and plumbing rough-ins are in progress. When completed, the building with have 9 new living units. According to the floorplans (which I’ve shared before) two of the units will be single bedroom units and seven will be two bedroom units. The upper three spaces will also have roof decks.

The rendering below  shows what the project should look like once completed.


Bruce and Wilson Normal Schools Achieve Landmark Status

Posted November 21, 2014 by Kent
Categories: Architecture, History, Preservation, Schools

Tags: , , , , ,

Bruce School 1900(The Blanche Kelso Bruce School, ca. 1900)

Yesterday, November 20, 2014, two landmark nominations, authored by me, were considered by the Historic Preservation Review Board and approved.

Both the former Blanche Kelso Bruce School and the James Ormond Wilson Normal School buildings were added to the D.C. Inventory of Historic Structures when the Historic Preservation Review Board voted unanimously in support of the nominations. Both schools currently house charter schools. The Bruce school building, at 770 Kenyon Street, NW, is currently the home of Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy, Chavez Prep Campus, and the Wilson Normal school currently houses the Carlos Rosario School.

For those wanting to learn more about these buildings, the Historic Preservation Office’s staff reports provides a concise overview.

The staff report for the Bruce school concludes (read full report here):

The principal significance of the school is as an educational facility, serving generations of African-American elementary students during the era of segregated schools. Like other neighborhood schools, it grew out of and grew up with the community, serving as a community center in all senses.

The building is significant as well as a great example of one subtype of school, a product of the “Architects in Private Practice” era of 1897 to 1910, as described in the Multiple Property Documentation Form Public School Buildings of Washington, 1862-1960. It also stands as an interesting application of Albert Harris’s extensible school design as an addition.

The staff report for the Wilson Normal school states (read full report here):

The property retains excellent historic integrity, including its original lunch-room ell, its chimneys, etc. It has the expected alterations and repairs for a building a century old, such as window replacements. Its appearance has changed with some entry features erected for the present occupant, a charter school, but these alterations are ultimately reversible.

The nomination proposes a period of significance from 1912, the principal year of construction, to 1987, when the school was vacated by the teachers school, which had been merged into the University of the District of Columbia beginning in 1978. While 1987 is a pretty recent date to be considered historic, such a terminal date has few implications for the preservation treatment of the building exterior, given its remarkable preservation from a century ago. Further, if the continuity of Wilson Normal including its mergers into more modern institutions is important, then recognizing this entire span is reasonable.

Both nominations will be forwarded to the National Park Service for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

Love Coffee? Check Out Harrar’s Weekly Coffee Ceremony

Posted November 20, 2014 by Kent
Categories: Commerce and Businesses

Tags: , , ,

I haven’t written about Harrar Coffee & Roastery in a while, and thought time was overdue to give them a shout out. I’ve yet to be disappointed in a visit there, and find it a good way to get a day off to a good start.

While there last Saturday, I learned that on Saturday’s starting at 11:30 am, Harrar has their weekly Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, at which they also provide free samples of their coffee. Yet one more reason for me to really love this business.

If you love coffee, and haven’t stopped by Harrar yet, you might want to give them a try. They are located at 2904 Georgia Avenue, a little south and across the street from Bravo Bar. Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday 6am-8pm, Saturday 7am-8pm, and Sunday 7am-7pm.


Artwork by Zsudayka Nzinga on Display at Yoga Heights

Posted November 19, 2014 by Kent
Categories: Art

Tags: , ,

Yoga heights artIf you missed the November 9th Georgia Avenue Window Walk and haven’t been by Yoga Heights, you probably haven’t seen the artwork by Zsudayka Nzinga that is in the windows at 3506 Georgia. I’m including them with this post, but they are hard to photograph and are worth seeing in person. You can learn more about the artist, her bio, and see where her artworks are displayed, at her Web site.

The Web site also has other images of Nzinga’s work. I’m not entirely sure how long these murals will be on display, but I hope it will be a while. I also heartily support the increasing amount of public art we are seeing in the neighborhood.

Below is another image from the murals at Yoga Heights.

Yoga art


Next Community Police Meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 19th, Includes Introduction to New Fourth District Commander

Posted November 18, 2014 by Kent
Categories: MPD

Map showing area covered by PSA 409, formerly the northern half of PSA 302

Map showing area covered by PSA 409. PSA 302 is to the souuth.

The next community with members of the police for the Park View community (PSA 302 and PSA 409) will take place on November 19, 2014, at 7 p.m.  The meeting will be at the Fourth District Substation located at 750 Park Road, NW. In addition to discussing public safety issues with our local police officers, it will also be a good opportunity to meet the new Fourth District Commander, Wilfredo Manlapaz.

On November 14th, it was announced that Fourth District Commander Kimberly Chisley-Missouri had been promoted to Assistant Chief in charge of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Corporate Support Bureau, which oversees the major administrative, technical and business functions of the Department and coordinates the delivery of services in several key areas that support operations.  This resulted in MPD’s Wilfredo Manlapaz being named the Commander of the Fourth District.

In her announcement regarding these promotions, Chief Lanier wrote: “Commander Manlapaz has 20 years of experience working in a variety of positions in the MPD. During his career with the MPD , Commander Manlapaz has patrolled the streets of the First and Second Districts as an officer, investigated drug-related crimes as a sergeant, oversaw violent crimes investigations as a lieutenant, and managed the Criminal Intelligence Branch as a captain. Most recently, he has been working in the Special Investigations Branch, where he oversaw members investigating Sexual Assaults, Financial Crimes and Bank Robberies.”

I’m looking forward to both meeting and working with our new Fourth District Commander.

DDOT Continues to Tweak Crosswalk Median

Posted November 17, 2014 by Kent
Categories: Uncategorized

DDOT continued to improve the new crosswalk median at Georgia Avenue and Newton Place over the weekend. As you can see from the photos below, they painted the yellow center lane strips as well as painted the north facing curb yellow to alert southbound drivers of the lane shift.

We’ll see if any other changes are made in the near future, but it seems clear that the median is here to stay — or at least until streetcars or Bus Rapid Transit become part of the equation (if at all).

I would also like to see the south facing curb at New Hampshire Avenue and Monroe Street/Park Road painted yellow as well. Its been brought to my attention that many drivers are still hitting that curb as well.



Unofficial Results of ANC 1A Election

Posted November 14, 2014 by Kent
Categories: Elections

Tags: ,
Map of ANC 1A showing borders and locations of Single Member Districts (SMDs).

Map of ANC 1A showing borders and locations of Single Member Districts (SMDs).

It’s been a week since the general election, and I finally know who all the commissioners will be for ANC 1A in the 2015-2016 term. While the DC Board of Elections is still counting  absentee and special ballots and official results have not yet been released, the races for ANC 1A had wide enough margins where any changes to the vote count will not change the outcome. This wasn’t true for all ANC races this year, where five races ended with a vote difference no  greater than 3 votes making them too close to call and pending the outcome of the official results.

In addition, there were two Single Member Districts in ANC 1A where no candidate appeared on the ballot, but where there were successful write-in candidates. I’ve recently learned who won in both of these races, meaning I now know the full list of who will be on the Commission come January.

The list of ANC 1A Commissioners for the 2015-1016 term is below. Those in bold are returning from the current term.

  • Marvin L. Johnson (1A01)
  • Josue Salmeron (1A02) – unopposed
  • Tom Gordon (1A03) – write in
  • Matthew Goldschmidt (1A04)
  • Thu-Huong Nguyen (1A05) – write in
  • Patrick W. Flynn (1A06) – unopposed
  • Darwain Frost (1A07) – unopposed
  • Kent Boese (1A08) – unopposed
  • Bobby Holmes (1A09)
  • Rashida Brown (1A10) – unopposed
  • Dotti Love Wade (1A11) – unopposed
  • Margaret Hundley (1A12)

I’ll do my best too get some biographical information on all of the incoming commissioners soon.

Below are the unofficial results from the general election.

ANC 1A unofficial results


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