Community Meeting on Hebrew Home Development Packed

Posted August 13, 2014 by Kent
Categories: Development, Housing

Tags: , , , ,
DGS's Stephen Campbell presenting during Hebrew Home meeting.

DGS’s Stephen Campbell presenting during Hebrew Home meeting.

Last night, Councilmember Bowser hosted a community meeting at Raymond Recreation Center to discuss the proposal to redevelop the former Hebrew Home for the Aged property, located at 1125 Spring Road. The meeting began at 6 p.m. to a packed house and ran well over its scheduled 90 minutes, ending a fair while after 8 p.m.

The meeting included members of the Department of General Services and the DC Housing Authority. Each made presentations related to the proposed development of the site (each also agreed to post their presentations on the DGS Web site in the next day or two. The site located here:

The City Paper’s Aaron Wiener was among the reporters at the meeting and wrote what I consider to be a good and fair account of the meeting. You can read that article here.

In short, the redeveloped property could have between 160 and 200 units of new housing once completed. The way this breaks down is 75-80 units in the historic structure, and up to 90-120 units in any new construction that replaces the Robeson School on the eastern (10th Street) portion of the property.

Based on the presentations and discussion last night, many aspects of the project still seem to be open for discussion — such as the breakdown of how much and what type of affordable housing to include, how much housing for seniors to include, and even what the final project will look like. That said, it struck me that there was significant support for affordable housing among those who attended the meeting (even if that support was not unanimous).

I will continue to post about this project as information becomes available.


The Old Soldiers’ Home Library Building

Posted August 13, 2014 by Kent
Categories: Architecture, Armed Forces Retirement Home, History

Tags: , , ,

I recently was lucky enough to find two old photographs of the library building at the Soldiers’ Home. The library building was designed by Smithmeyer and Pelz in 1877 and razed in 1910, 33 years later.

The first photo shows the library in the background with the Sherman building in the foreground. As the Sherman building was built in 1889, and as Stanley Hall (built in 1897) isn’t in the photo, it likely dates to the early 1890s.

Library 1880s(Cabinet Card of Sherman Hall and the Soldiers’ Home library ca. 1890s).

The second photo was taken ca. 1905, again showing the library with Stanley Hall in the back ground.

Library 1905(A magic lantern slide of the library and Stanley Hall ca. 1905).

The library was originally designed for use as an officers billiard room and bowling alley, but its purpose was altered in the midst of construction from that of a clubhouse to a library for enlisted men. Due to its enormous building expense, the elaborate porch was not added until five years after the main structure was finished.

The Soldiers’ Home governor and other members of the board were never overly enthusiastic about the building, and shortly after it was completed passed a rule that future Soldiers’ Home buildings would be designed by military architects.

By 1910, the library was overflowing with 8,000 books and the commissioners decided to build Grant Hall — a much-needed new dormitory — on the site of the library.

The map below shows the grounds of the Soldiers’ Home in 1891, with the site of the library building noted.

1891 Soldiers' Home map with library identified

Do You Live on a Street With Few Trees and Have Room for One in Your Yard? Then Let’s Talk

Posted August 12, 2014 by Kent
Categories: Streets and Trees


tree plantingAs anyone who has walked around the neighborhood will have noticed, we have several blocks in Park View that just don’t have street trees. Over the last few years, I’ve done a good job of identifying dead trees, reporting empty tree boxes, and have requested over 70 new street trees to tree up our neighborhood streets. Still, some blocks, like the 400 blocks of Manor or Newton, much of Warder Street, or the 700 block of Newton, just don’t have public street tree space available.

But this doesn’t mean that these tree-challenged blocks are hopeless. In walking around these blocks, I’ve noticed that often times there is enough private property available that could support a new tree IF the homeowner is interested. I’ve also learned that both funding and labor is available to assist a homeowner with planting that tree.

If you’ve ever considered planting a tree on your property and have room for one or more trees, now is a great time to act.

As of now, there is still space in Casey Trees’ schedule for site visits/meetings this fall and tree planting services this coming spring (2015) for trees through the RiverSmart Homes Shade Tree Program.

The RiverSmart Homes Shade Tree Program is designed to reduce stormwater runoff and erosion on residential property in D.C. Through this program, homeowners can have shade trees planted on their property by Casey Trees for $50 per tree (The $50 per tree co-pay covers the home consultation, tree and planting. Payment for each tree must be received prior to scheduling the tree planting date).

There is no limit to the number of trees that can be planted on each property, provided space allows.

The RiverSmart Homes Shade Tree program is funded by the District Department of the Environment (DDOE).

If you are interested in participating in this program for a tree this fall or next spring, check out the Casey Trees Web page that explains the process and provide the application form.

If you are interested in helping to bring trees to your block, but don’t have room for a tree yourself, contact me directly at to let me know. I’ve very interested in partnering with neighbors this year to help bring more trees to our hot, tree-challenged blocks.


Development Plans for 3619 Georgia Avenue Filed with BZA

Posted August 11, 2014 by Kent
Categories: Architecture, Development, Housing, Retail

Tags: , , ,
Princeton Place elevation from BZA application for 3619 Georgia Avenue.

Princeton Place elevation from BZA application for 3619 Georgia Avenue.

There’s been speculation as to what development at 3619 Georgia might look like since October 2013 when an Ellisdale sign went up on the current structure. The waiting for what is proposed for the site is now over, as the Warrenton Group filed plans with the Board of Zoning Adjustment on Friday, August 8th.

According to the materials and plans included with the application, the Warrenton proposes to demolish the existing structure on the Site and to construct a new mixed-use building with cellar and ground floor retail and 27 residential dwelling units. The project will include a total of 22,555 square feet of gross floor area, with approximately 23,518 square feet of gross and cellar floor area devoted to residential uses and approximately 2,911 square feet of gross and cellar floor area devoted to retail uses.In looking over the plans, the building will be 6-stories with what appears to be a roof terrace. In looking at the breakdown of residential units, the plans show 5 units that are 1-Bedroom with den; 5 units that are 2-Bedroom; 15 units that are 1-Bedroom; and 2 Duplex units.

As this project is seeking zoning relief related to parking, it will be a matter that comes before Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A. As it goes through that process, I’m sure many more details will be learned and I’ll keep everyone posted as new information becomes available.

Georgia Avenue elevation(Rendering of the Georgia Avenue elevation for 3619 Georgia Avenue)

Community Meeting on Hebrew Home Development Scheduled for Tuesday, August 12th

Posted August 11, 2014 by Kent
Categories: Development, Housing

Tags: ,
The former Hebrew Home for the Aged from the southeast.

The former Hebrew Home for the Aged from the southeast.

The redevelopment of the former Hebrew Home of the Aged property — located at 1125 Spring Road, NW — is one of great interest to the community.

As a follow up to the public surplus meeting and the community survey, Councilmember Bowser has scheduled a community meeting for Tuesday, August 12th, at 6 p.m. to discuss redevelopment uses for the property.

The District of Columbia Housing Authority and the Department of General Services will be present to listen to community concerns and ideas about the site.

The meeting will take place at Raymond Recreation Center, which is located at 3725 10th Street, NW (adjacent and across the street from the property to the east).

For more information, please contact Shayne Wells in Councilmember Bowser’s office at 202-724-8052 or

Investigation Continues in Weekend Homicide

Posted August 10, 2014 by Kent
Categories: Crime, MPD, Shootings

Tags: , ,
Police at Warder and Rock Creek Church Road as part of homicide  investigation.

Police at Warder and Rock Creek Church Road as part of homicide investigation on August 9th.

Late Friday night, August 8th, shortly after 11 pm, there was a shooting resulting in a homicide at the intersection of Warder Street and Quebec Place, NW. Residents in the area awoke to find an active police investigation and the 3600 block of Warder, along with the 700 blocks of Quebec and Rock Creek Church Road blocked off to all traffic.

Late Saturday afternoon, a property of interest related to the homicide on Rock Creek Church Road was also visited by the police and evidence removed from the property.

Below is a news clip from News Channel 4 that accompanied their story which provides some information related to this tragic event.

Warder homicide 2014(Click on image to access video)

Lower Georgia Avenue Community Review of Development Scheduled for Saturday, August 9th

Posted August 8, 2014 by Kent
Categories: Community Involvement, Development

Tags: , ,

The Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force is hosting its third community-wide review of development along lower Georgia Avenue this Saturday (tomorrow) beginning at 9 a.m. This is an excellent opportunity to meet your neighbors and discuss how you would like to see the community develop. The full details are below.

From the announcement:

Don’t miss the Lower Georgia Avenue Community Review coming up this Saturday!

WHEN: Saturday August 9th from 9-4

WHERE: The Howard University School of Architecture at 6th and Howard Place NW

DIRECTIONS: From Georgia Avenue traveling south make a left on Howard Place.  The School of Architecture is on the right at the next intersection.

PARKING: There is a lot on the side of the building.  The parking lot entrance is just south of Howard Place on Georgia Avenue.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBILITY: Available from the parking lot entrance

Who is this Review for?

This review is for residents, business owners, property owners and other stakeholders of Lower Georgia Avenue.  We especially want the residents to see what’s happening in the community and bring fresh ideas.

What will happen?

In the morning participants can attend small group sessions focusing on three important issues affecting the Lower Georgia Avenue corridor:

  • The Park Morton Redevelopment Project: Four development teams have submitted proposals to redevelop the Park Morton site.  The extent to which the community will be engaged in the process is still unclear.  Representatives from DCHA have been invited to to discuss this and other related issues.  All stakeholders in the Park Morton community should attend this session.
  • The Bruce Monroe Site: As a community we need to gather our thoughts on the long term use of the site. Should it stay a park?  Should it include a public facility?  Development?  This session is the start of a longer process to determine what we want.
  • Community Benefit Packages: Developers often include community benefits as part of their projects, but the stakeholders are not often asked for their preferences.  This session will be a guide to the realities of community benefits, with a list of our priorities.

A free lunch will be provided by the Georgia Avenue Businesses, followed by a large group session which will include:

  • A presentation from the Youth Ambassadors
  • Session summaries and further dialog
  • Statements from Mayoral and Ward 1 candidates in attendance

The schedule will be:

9:00     Continental breakfast

9:15     Orientation

9:30     First session – participants select one of three sessions

11:15   Second Session – participants select one of three sessions

1:00     Free lunch provided by the Georgia Avenue businesses

2:00     Large group session – Reports and further dialog


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