Future Community Meetings on Hebrew Home Scheduled for January

Posted December 13, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Development, Housing

Tags: , , ,
Two more community meetings have been schedule for neighbors to provide community feedback and discuss the next steps for the former Hebrew Home at 1125 Spring Road, NW.  
The format and content of these meetings will be similar to the first meeting held earlier this month. Since the development plan has already been selected, the discussion will be focused on aspects of the development that will directly impact the surrounding area, including traffic/parking, building design, and community amenities.

More information is below and on the flyer.

1125 SPRING ROAD REDEVELOPMENT

COMMUNITY INPUT MEETINGS

WHERE: Raymond Recreation Center (3725 10th ST NW), Multi-purpose Room

WHEN: Tuesday January 9, 2018 – 6:00-8:00pm  AND Saturday January 13, 2018 – 1:30-3:30pm

Chili Cookoff at DC Reynolds This Sunday!

Posted December 12, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Small Businesses

Tags: , ,

DC Reynolds, Looking Glass Lounge, Kokeb Ethiopian, The Midlands, and Timber Pizza are all competing to be the best chili on Georgia Avenue at the Holiday Party/Chili Cook-off on December 17th … hosted at DC Reynolds.

See details below:

You Can Support Holiday Wreaths at the Soldiers’ Home Cemetery

Posted December 11, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Armed Forces Retirement Home, Cemeteries, Volunteerism

Tags: , , ,

Recently, I learned about Wreaths Across America, which each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, participates by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as over 1,000 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad. The even this year is scheduled for Saturday, December 16th. Volunteers can participate in one of two ways. The first is by buying a wreath, which costs $15, to be placed on a veterans grave. The second is by volunteering to help place the wreaths at the cemeteries.

While the most well known cemetery is Arlington, there are many cemeteries that participate and many of them don’t have enough wreaths or volunteers to go around. One of those cemeteries  is at the Armed Forces Retirement Home (Volunteer or support a wreath here).

In checking out the details of the Soldiers’ Home wreath laying event, as of this this writing, there a total of 2,662 wreaths currently committed for 14,000 veteran graves. I think we can do better.

Details about the event is below and can also be found here.

Ceremony and Volunteer Information

Please join the young women of the DC metro area American Heritage Girls as we lay wreaths at US Soldiers’ & Airmen’s Home National Cemetery (DCSAHN) to honor and remember our deceased heroes. Please do not forget to register on the US Soldiers’ & Airmen’s Home National Cemetery (DCSAHN) to receive updates about the cemetery itself.

We will begin the ceremony at noon. Plan to arrive in time to park.  When you arrive, please gather around the flag pole for the ceremony.  Wreaths will be laid directly after the ceremony is over.

  • Everyone of all ages and backgrounds is welcome.
  • Ceremonies around the world will be starting at the same moment, so please be on time.
  • Please help ensure that all participants get the opportunity to place a wreath.
  • Please follow the instructions by volunteers on where to place wreaths, as well as “how” they should be placed.
  • We especially appreciate volunteers willing to help clean-up. Cleanup day will be in January.

The most important thing to remember is to have a wonderful experience participating in the ceremony and thank you so much for help Wreaths achieve our mission to remember, honor and teach.

Irving Street Express Way & North Capitol Cloverleaf Remnants of Unrealized Freeway System

Posted December 8, 2017 by Kent
Categories: History, Streets and Trees, traffic

Tags: , , , ,

While creating a good crosstown transportation connection between Brookland and Adams Morgan is a goal of the recent Crosstown Multimodal Study, this is not a new idea. Creating a good crosstown transportation network has vexed District transportation planners for more than 90 years. DDOT’s Multimodal Study is notable for taking all forms of transportation into consideration. Unfortunately, efforts in the 1920s and 1950s did not do this and prioritized automotive transportation at the expense of walk-ability and the environment. This resulted in blocks without street trees, a four-lane expressway that leads nowhere, and the District’s only transportation cloverleaf at North Capitol and Irving streets.

Both the Irving Street expressway and the cloverleaf intersection at the Washington Hospital Center date to the 1950s and were intended to solve two problems. The first was to establish a better crosstown route. The second was to connect that route to the freeway system in Maryland. Neither of these goals achieve their promise.

One of the earliest efforts to identify Columbia Road as part of an improved crosstown route dates to 1927. It came out of a recommendation to the National Capital Park and Planning Commission by a subcommittee designated to study the traffic plan developed by L.D. Tilton, a St. Louis traffic expert. Tilton’s traffic plan attempted to place all sections of the District of Columbia within a quarter or half mile distance of a selected major thoroughfare. Recommendations to the NCPPC were divided into two divisions – crosstown and radial.

While 18 major traffic thoroughfares were definitely recommended, the proposal to include Columbia Road was tabled to be decided at a later date. This was due to the fact that it was considered unduly narrow between Sixteenth Street and the Soldiers’ Home. While all agreed it was ideally located to serve as a crosstown route, there was doubt that the street could be widened to serve in that capacity.

Never-the-less, two important routes were identified in 1927 that would later play a role in creating the North Capitol and Irving cloverleaf. The relevant radial route consisted of North Capitol Street, Michigan Avenue, Harewood Road, and Blair Road to the District boundary. The relevant crosstown route was Garfield Street, by way of Cleveland Avenue, Calvert Street, and Columbia Road to Sixteenth Street (from Sixteenth Street to the Soldiers’ Home, the matter of widening Columbia Road or combining the route with another street to be decided later). From the Soldiers’ Home the route would continue along Michigan Avenue and Franklin Street to Bladensburg Road.

In 1931, NCPPC used the 1927 thoroughfare plan to prioritize street improvements and paving. While the matter of the crosstown route between Sixteenth Street and the Soldiers’ Home was still undecided, the proposed solution was to develop Colombia Road for westbound traffic and Harvard Street for eastbound traffic – and then to realign the road north of McMillan reservoir to connect this pair with Michigan Avenue to the east.

While the basic corridors were identified in 1927 and expanded in 1931, it wasn’t until the beginning of the 1950s that genuine efforts were made to realize these corridors. The plan consisted of constructing two new highways through the Soldiers’ Home.

The north-south freeway was proposed as a six-lane highway that would end the detour around the Soldiers’ Home and connect North Capitol Street directly with Maryland.

Rather than construct a full-fledged east-west freeway, planners proposed a cheaper alternative. Instead of a freeway, planners proposed a new one-way network – Irving street one-way west and Columbia Road one-way east. Irving would be cut through the Soldiers’ Home to connect with Michigan Avenue at Harwood Road. Other suggestions from this plan included:

  • Making Park Place one-way northbound;
  • making Warder Street one-way southbound; and,
  • realigning Irving Street at 14th Street and Georgia Avenue.

(Map from the Washington Post, February 20, 1952.)

After two-years of negotiations, the southern 42-acres of the Soldiers’ Home was transferred to the District in late 1954 paving the way for the highway project to move forward. As construction was geared to begin in late 1956, the original plan to use Irving and Columbia Road was altered to include Lamont and Kenyon streets as well. Each street would parallel each other as far as Klingle Road, NW. Harvard Street would later be identified to replace Lamont.

(Overview of configuration in 1954 from the Evening Star, September 26, 1954.)

From the Evening Star, 1958.

The narrowness of the streets between the Soldiers’ Home and Sixteenth street was identified in the 1927 plan and not entirely solved with the one-way street scheme. To receive Federal aid for the crosstown street project, the streets included in the network had to be a least 30 feet wide. This meant that several of the streets had to be widened, some as little as 6 inches on each side. This requirement doomed more than 100 street trees which were cut down to make way for the widened streets and new curbs.

For example, Harvard Street between Georgia Avenue and 14th Street was 29 feet wide. To gain the needed extra foot the curbs were moved six inches on either side. To make way for the new curbs on Harvard, 27 trees – 18 pin oaks and nine ginkos – were cut down. To widen Irving Street west of Georgia Avenue by two feet, 40 street trees were cut down. While some of these streets have wonderful tree-line blocks today, other blocks on these routes are still tree-less with no room for street trees.

The one-way street network east of 14th Street and the Irving Street expressway across the former Soldiers’ Home grounds was completed and opened to motorists on October 20th 1958 as work continued on the North Capitol cloverleaf and connecting Kenyon Street to Park Road west of 14th Street. The final stage of the crosstown route project was completed on August 19, 1959, when the final one-way streets were implemented. These were Irving Street between Adams Mill Road and 11th Street (eastbound), Kenyon Street between 11th Street and 14th Street (westbound), and Park Road between 14th Street and 17th Street (westbound).

In a twist of irony, while the effort to complete the crosstown network and cloverleaf intersection were being completed the District Commissioners put a halt to the north-south freeway effort. Even with construction of the North Capitol street extension underway across the Soldiers’ Home grounds, in 1960 the Commissioners followed the recommendation of city highway officials to cancel the contract. While the goal was to tie the North Capitol highway into a major Maryland highway, Maryland officials were uncommitted to the goal.

(Map of street network configuration in 1958, from the Evening Star, Oct. 19, 1958.)

References

“3 Streets Turn One-Way Today.” The Washington Post, Aug. 19, 1959, p. B1.

“18 Thoroughfares Proposed to Serve for Major Traffic.” The Washington Post, Oct. 23, 1927, p. M2.

“Committee Draws Radial Street Plan, Enlarging System.” The Washington Post, Nov. 4, 1927, p. 22.

Deane, James G. “One-Way Crosstown Network Cuts Cost of Freeway Solution.” The Evening Star, Feb. 20, 1952, p. A-14.

Deane, James G. “Two Fast Arteries Would End Roadblock at Soldiers’ Home.” The Evening Star, Feb. 19, 1952, p. A-7.

Gwertzman, Bernard. “Street Widening Dooms More Than 100 Trees Along New Crosstown Route in Northwest.” The Evening Star, Apr. 10, 1958, p. A-21.

“N. Capitol Corridor Plans Job Canceled.” The Evening Star, Feb. 19, 1960, p. B-3.

“Park Road Partly Open For Traffic.” The Washington Post, Dec. 25, 1958, p. B1.

“Priority Paving of Main Streets Urged by Group.” The Evening Star, Dec. 26, 1931, p. A-12.

“Soldiers Home Crossing to Open.” The Washington Post, Oct. 19, 1958, p. B6.

“Soldiers’ Home Crossing To Speed D.C. Traffic.” The Evening Star, Oct. 19, 1958, p. A-23.

“Soldiers’ Home Expressway Will Ease Crosstown Traffic.” The Washington Post, Aug. 20, 1956, p. 34.

Stepp, John W. “42-Acre Soldiers Home Tract Given D.C. for Street Project.” The Evening Star, Sept. 26, 1954, p. 1.

ABRA Removes License Suspension with La Morenita — Offer in Compromise Negotiated

Posted December 7, 2017 by Kent
Categories: ABRA, Public Safety, Small Businesses

Tags: , , ,

La Morenita is located on the northeast corner of Newton and Georgia, between the Senior Wellness Center and Top Spanish

La Morenita was scheduled to go before the ABRA Board on Friday, December 1st, to address the incidents on November 13th and 19th that led to MPD closing the business down for 96-hours at the end of November. Instead, an offer in compromise (OIC) was negotiated  and presented to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC Board) by the Assistant Attorney General at the summary suspension proceeding. The proposed OIC, which the ABRA Board has the discretion to accept or reject can be read here.

In addition to the suspension served, the offer in compromise consists of the following terms:

  1. La Morenita Restaurant, LLC t/a La Morenita Restaurant (Licensee) agrees to train all employees to call the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) by dialing 911 when there is any injury, assault, physical altercation, or other crime involving staff or patrons. Licensee will provide training on calling MPD to existing employees the next business day following receipt of the Board order ending the suspension. All new employees will be trained on calling MPD prior to commencing employment.
  2. Licensee agrees to preserve a crime scene inside the establishment for MPD inspection if a violent crime occurs.
  3. License agrees that all employees will call MPD when there is any injury, assault, physical altercation, or other crime involving staff or patrons.
  4. Licensee agrees that all employees will fully cooperate with MPD or the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) with their requests for information.
  5. Licensee agrees to keep a log of police calls in a form acceptable to the Board. The form shall be submitted to the Board for review within 14 days. Licensee also agrees to keep an incident log.
  6. Licensee agrees to disable password access to its camera system and to grant immediate access to the camera system upon request by any Jaw enforcement official, including MPD officers and ABRA Investigators.
  7. Licensee agrees to modify the camera system within thirty days to retain video recordings for at least thirty days.
  8. Licensee agrees to submit a diagram to the Board with the location of all cameras within 30 days.
  9. Licensee agrees that, prior to re-opening the establishment, an ABRA Investigator will inspect the camera system for location of cameras to ensure that they properly cover the interior, exterior, and front and rear of the establishment.
  10. Licensee agrees to work with an ABRA Investigator to resolve any problems with cameras identified in the inspection within 45 days, provided that no fewer than six cameras will operate during that time.
  11. Licensee agrees to inform the Board within 48 hours when it learns that the camera system is not operational. Licensee agrees to repair the camera system within 30 days.
  12. Licensee agrees to have a security guard at the establishment for a period of 120 days commencing December 2, 2017 at the front door on Friday and Saturday nights, either from 9:00 pm to 2:00 am, if closing at 2:00 am, or from 10:00 pm to 3 :00 am, if closing at 3 :00 am. The security guard also will complete the police call log if the guard makes a call to MPD and complete the incident log.
  13. Licensee agrees to provide to the Board a copy of the security company contract within seven days.
  14. Licensee agrees to verify that any bartender employed is at least 21 years old.

Drink the District Wine Festival is in Park View This Weekend and Next

Posted December 6, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Small Businesses

Tags: ,

 

The Drink the District Wine Festival (Holiday Edition), is billed as “the premier DC Wine Festival for food, friends, and fruits of the vine” — and this year it is in Park View at 3400 Georgia Avenue (the old Murray’s at Georgia and Morton Street).

Like wine? Drink the District invites you to savor crisp whites, rich reds, and flirty roses while noshing on perfectly paired bites from the vibrant local culinary community.

Check out their Website for dates, times, and to purchase tickets.

Community Input on Hebrew Home Development Begins

Posted December 4, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Community Involvement, Development, Historic Landmarks, Housing

Tags: , , , ,

Victory Housing and the Brinshore Development team held the first of several community engagement meetings on the redevelopment of the historic Hebrew Home property on Saturday, December 2nd. After an introduction and PowerPoint presentation, neighbors were able to dig deeper into four difference aspects of the project to help guide the team in shaping the development. The four breakout areas were:

  • Historic Preservation & Corner Design
  • Traffic Management & Parking
  • Community Spaces & Benefits
  • Sustainability Strategies

Commissioner Boese and neighbors participating in the discussion on how the new building could fit with the century-old neighborhood.

The overall plan of the project will include the creation of 187 residential units through a mix of townhomes and apartments. The project will include the creation of 88 units of affordable housing for seniors at or below 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI) through the adaptive preservation of the historic Hebrew Home building as well as the creation of 62 units of affordable housing in a newly constructed building at the current site of the Paul Robeson School.

The engagement meeting was an opportunity for neighbors to identify, discuss, and offer ideas on the design of the project; identify and offer solutions to potential traffic and parking impacts the project may create; and discuss community goals for the development along with how the revitalized property could serve the community as well as the neighborhood.

One item that was share during the presentation that was new to the community was that the development team, at the suggestion of the Office of Planning, will be seeking to rezone the property to allow a by-right project. Previously, the development team was planning to go through the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process. The process to rezone the site will still provide an opportunity for both ANC1A and ANC4C to weigh in, though the nuances between the two still needs to be explored.

Below are two of the flip charts showing some of the bullets on what was identified in two of the stations.

 


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