Annual Columbia Heights Tree Lighting Extravaganza is Tomorrow

Posted December 2, 2016 by Kent
Categories: Celebrations, Holidays

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cohi-tree-lighting
The 6th Annual Columbia Heights Tree Lighting Extravaganza is scheduled for Saturday, December 3rd, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The annual event is held at the Columbia Heights Civic plaza (14th St, Kenyon St, and Park Rd.).

Details from the Columbia Heights Initiative: This Saturday we will be decking the halls-and by halls we mean the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza-for our 6th Annual Columbia Heights Tree Lighting Extravaganza. Come to the plaza to enjoy complimentary cocoa, candy canes, carols — and perhaps even a visit from Santa!

Next Park View Cleanup Scheduled for Saturday

Posted December 1, 2016 by Kent
Categories: Community Involvement

Tags:

The next Park View Cleanup is this Saturday, December 3rd, beginning at 10 a.m. Following the cleanup, volunteers can relax at The Midlands with a free beer.

park-view-clean-up

DC Council Holds Hearing on Bruce Monroe Surplus and Disposition, Witnesses Largely Support Effort

Posted November 30, 2016 by Kent
Categories: Development, Housing

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Yesterday, the Council of the District of Columbia held a Joint Public Hearing of the Committee of the Whole and the Committee on Transportation & the Environment — with the agenda items being surplus and disposition approval resolutions for the South Dakota Avenue Riggs Road Excess Property, the Capitol Vista property, and the Bruce Monroe Property. The hearing began at 11:46 a.m. and lasted until 5:59 p.m., with 4 hours and 20 minutes of the hearing being consumed by testimony related to the Bruce Monroe surplus and disposition. The hearing was Chaired by Councilmember Mendelson, with Councilmembers Cheh and White present for much of the hearing and including representatives from Councilmembers Nadeau, Silverman, Bonds, and Grosso.

The record will close for those wishing to submit testimony at the close of business on December 5th. While the Council could vote on the Bruce Monroe Surplus and Disposition resolutions as early as December 6th, the date of the vote will likely be December 20th.

While there were few witnesses testifying for the first two properties, 24 witnesses signed up to testify on the surplus and disposition of the Bruce Monroe site, which would then be used as the build first site for the redevelopment of Park Morton. Among the witnesses were Kent Boese for ANC1A, Amanda Bonam for ANC1B, Chris Waldmann for the Park View United Neighborhood Coalition, and Darren Jones for the Pleasant Plans Civic Association. Overall 16 witnesses (69.45%) testified in support of the disposition of the Bruce Monroe site and using it for the Park Morton effort, 7 witnesses (30.43%) testified in opposition of the disposition, and 1 witness provided testimony that was neither for or against, but offered suggestions on how the overall process could be improved.

I’ve provided the video of the hearing below for those wishing to hear the testimony directly.

Preservation Office’s New Online Application Maps Historic Development and Preservation of DC

Posted November 29, 2016 by Kent
Categories: Historic Landmarks, History, Office of Planning

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I thought this was interesting, yesterday the Historic Preservation Office announced the launch of HistoryQuest DC, a GIS-based web map that provides historical data on approximately 127,000 extant buildings in Washington, D.C. The Office of Planning’s Web site provides the following description of the application:

The application, HistoryQuest DC, is an interactive GIS map that provides historical data on approximately 127,000 extant buildings in Washington, D.C.  The map offers several operational layers of information for the user including historic data on individual buildings, links to documentation on properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places, information on historic residential subdivisions, and the identification and boundaries of the L’Enfant Plan, and the city’s Squares, and Wards. The featured layer in the map—the Historical Data on DC Buildings—provides information from a variety of sources on original dates of construction, architects, owners and builders of the city’s historic buildings.

The application also includes a Query tool that allows the user to analyze the historic data within a specified geographic area or city-wide.

This application has evolved out of the DC Historical Building Permits Database project and is still a work-in-progress. Anyone with additional information or knowledge about specific buildings that will enhance, enrich, or correct the map, please use the “Propose Data Change” on the banner at the top of the map, complete and submit the GeoForm.

By using the search box, anyone using the maps can quickly get to basic data on any property, including when a house was built and who the architect and builder were. The various layers also can generate some interesting maps. In addition to historic landmarks, the following maps show some examples of the maps that it generates.

history-quest-1(In looking at the map generally, it is easy to quickly get an idea of how old section of DC are. The older the building, the darker the color.)

history-quest-2(In exploring the various layers, one option is to show existing historic districts.)

history-quest-3(Another interesting feature, many of the original subdivisions have been recorded.)

President Obama and First Family Serve Thanksgiving Meals at Soldiers’ Home

Posted November 28, 2016 by Kent
Categories: Community Involvement, Random Observations, Volunteerism

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For those that may have missed it due to holiday traveling, on Wednesday November 23rd, President Obama was in the neighborhood giving back to retired veterans as part of his Thanksgiving this year. The president and first family served Thanksgiving meals to residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home. According to the Washington Post, “The campus is home to 405 previously enlisted service members, who represent every campaign since World War I. Obama served the turkey and gravy and briefly chatted with veterans and workers as they went through the line.”

Overview of Details on Park Morton Redevelopment Effort

Posted November 23, 2016 by Kent
Categories: Development, Housing

Tags: , , , ,

bm-1The Park Morton Steering Committee held a public meeting on November 17th to provide an overview of the many details related to the Park Morton redevelopment project and answer questions from the community. This was particularly timely as the D.C. Council will hold their surplus and disposition hearing for the former Bruce Monroe school site on November 29th and the Zoning Commission will hold the related zoning cases on December 5th and 8th.

As planned, the project will replace 147 public housing units in addition to creating 155 workforce housing units and 160 market rate units. More broadly speaking, the redevelopment of Park Morton will have a tremendous positive impact on Ward 1’s Georgia Avenue community, both in the short- and long-term. The development plans for the build first site alone estimate that there will be 448 construction jobs at that site in addition to creating 8 permanent jobs. 51% of the new hires to fill the construction jobs will also be required to be District residents.

In addition to the fact sheet below, you can see a copy of the PowerPoint presentation shared on November 17th here.

bm-2

See/Change Video Installation Closes

Posted November 22, 2016 by Kent
Categories: Art, Video Art

Tags: , , ,

The See/Change video installation along Georgia Avenue came to a close along with the end of FotoWeekDC. Yet, in the week residents and visitors of Georgia Avenue were able to enjoy it, it brightened our lives and highlighted the diversity, faces, and stories of the community. It also received some notable press taking our community to a much broader audience than just the stretch of road between Florida Avenue and New Hampshire Avenue — such as the article Encouraging Neighbors to See Eye to Eye written by Jessica Leigh Hester in CityLab.

Below is a short video that gives an idea of what viewing the installation was like. The full video is much longer than this clip. It is my hope that we can find a permanent location for the installation within the community.


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