CulturalDC SPACE4: Mobile Art Gallery Coming to Bruce Monroe Park

Posted February 21, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Art

Tags: , , ,

District Bridge‘s Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street program has partnered with CulturalDC to host CulturalDC’s SPACE4: Mobile Art Gallery at the Bruce Monroe Park from March 3rd to April 13th. It will feature Noa Heyne’s Posthumus Adaptations! The Mobile Art Gallery is a retrofitted 40 ft. shipping container that moves to different locations across the District, with a new exhibit and free public programming in each neighborhood it visits.

There is only one installation in each Ward so this is a unique opportunity with the Georgia Avenue community! You can check out a short video of the earlier installations at The Yards, Smithsonian National Zoo, and Union Market below.

CulturalDC is also looking for volunteers who are interested in contemporary art and can assist with engaging with visitors of the gallery, relaying gallery rules, and answering any questions visitors may have. Shifts in the Mobile Art Gallery will range from 4-6 hours Wednesdays-Sundays. If you are interested in volunteering with CulturalDC, please email Lizzy Barringer at Space4(at)culturaldc(dot)org.

Next Park View Cleanup’s on March 3rd

Posted February 20, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Community Involvement, Volunteerism

Tags: ,

Georgia Avenue Thrive will hold its next cleanup at 10 a.m., Saturday March 3rd at the corner of Georgia and Kenyon.

Immediately following, volunteers will meet at Colony Club for a complimentary drink. This is Georgia Avenue Thrive’s latest neighborhood get-together, a great opportunity to connect with neighbors.

To celebrate the two-year anniversary of Thrive’s cleanups, they’ll debut their new, fancy trash-pickers, and professional-grade gloves.

Come Joing the Community Dialogue with MPD Cheif Peter Newsham This Saturday February 10th

Posted February 7, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Community Involvement, MPD, Public Safety

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On Saturday, Feburary 10th, there is an excellent opportunity to engage and speak with Police Cheif Peter Newsham on issues concerning public safety in Park View. The following details were shared on the Park View listserv. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The Park View UNC’s Public Safety Working Group and ANC1A Cordially Invite you to

A Community Dialogue with MPD Chief Peter Newsham
and other guests
on Public Safety in Park View

This Saturday, February 10th from 10:15-noon
Park View Rec Center, 693 Otis Pl. NW (Entrance on Warder St.) 

Please join your neighbors for a dialogue with Peter Newsham, Chief of the DC Metropolitan Police Department, regarding public safety in our neighborhood. Representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office have also been invited to participate.

The meeting will include brief presentations from members of the Park View Public Safety Working Group highlighting areas of concern for our community, followed by a dialogue with Chief Newsham and other guests. All Park View residents are welcome to attend and ask questions.

Many neighbors are likely aware that 6 shootings have taken place in Park View since December 20th. This meeting will be a chance for in-depth discussion of how the community and MPD can work together to make our neighborhood safe for all. It will cover both recent incidents and longstanding community concerns.

We hope to see you on Saturday! If you are interested in becoming part of the Park View UNC’s Public Safety Working Group, please email elanor(dot)starmer(at)gmail(dot)com or
cliffvalenti(at)outlook(dot)com.

MPD’s Third District Has Successful Coat Drive, Still Time to Donate!

Posted February 6, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Community, MPD

Tags: ,

This year, the Metropolitan Police Department’s Third District organized a coat drive that resulted in 140 articles of clothing, including gloves, mitts, shoes, and coats which were distributed to those in need and to residents in Faircliff, Urban Village, and Park Morton. The inspiration for the coat drive was Third District Officer Barry Eastman who was killed in a car crash in September 2017. Officer Eastman worked the midnight shift and he would distribute coats to the homeless or those in need, largely unknown to anyone other than his coworkers on the midnight shift. When he passed officers he worked with explained what he did to others at MPD. This year, the Officers of the Third District organized the Winter Coat & Blanket Drive for the Homeless to honor the memory of Officer Eastman. Donations are being accepted until February 28, 2018 (details here).

(Residents with new winter coats at Urban Village.)

Community Discusses Future of 11th and Park Rd Dog Park

Posted February 1, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Parks and Green spaces

Tags: ,

Commissioner Angelica Castañon getting the meeting started. Seated l. to r. John Henderson, Lori Robertson, and Eric Gronning.

Last night supporters of keeping the WMATA property as a permanent dog park met at Raymond Recreation Center to discuss recent news that Metro is considering selling the property and what that may mean for the community. The meeting was organized by newly elected ANC1A06 Commissioner Angelica Castañon. ANC1A Chair and Ward 1 Council candidate Kent Boese and ANC1A Secretary Zach Rybarczyk also attended.

Commissioner Castañon made opening remarks and introduced Councilmember Nadeau as the first speaker. Nadeau stated that she has been working with the residents and 11th and Bark to improve the site over the years, and that she met with the Mayor and has asked for funds to be included in the budget. She stated that she “wants to help, is helping” and has met with Councilmember and Metro Board member Jack Evans, who thinks that purchasing the property is doable. Nadeau was unable to stay for the entire meeting, but noted that John Hillegass from her office was in attendance and could answer any additional questions.

John Henderson of Green Spaces DC was the next to speak, gave an overview of what role Green Spaces DC plays in the community, and emphasized the importance of green spaces in Columbia Heights in particular. Using the boundaries of Spring Rd. (north), New Hampshire and Sherman aves. (east), Harvard (south), and 16th Street (west), Henderson noted the neighborhood only has 2.75 acres of green space, including the civic plaza. He also noted that the DPR master plan calls for 12.9 acres of green space per 1,000 people. This illustrated how important the dog park property is for the growing Columbia Heights community.

Patrick Flynn of Patrick’s Pet Care was the next speaker.  He related his experiences, beginning on 2010 when he moved to the neighborhood. As a former ANC1A Commissioner, he shared his efforts with Councilmember Jim Graham — who originally helped open the property to the community when he was on the WMATA Board — and the red tape and challenges that exist with WMATA’s ownership. He even offered to lease the property from WMATA for $5,000, which ultimately didn’t come to fruition.

Wrapping up the presentations were 11th and Bark Board Members Lori Robertson and Eric Gronning. They also shared their experiences with forming a non-profit and efforts to lease the property from WMATA. They began with DPR to see if the city could gain control and allow them to raise money for maintaining the property as a Park Partner, but this route closed when the Department of General Services balked as there was no precedent for the arrangement under consideration. They next focused on negotiating directly with WMATA, with discussion progressing to the point where drawings of what an official dog park would look like (see below).

(11th and Barks concept of what an improved dog park could look like.)

11th and Bark learned in December that WMATA was no longer interested in leasing the property, as they had an unsolicited offer to purchase the property. This is the event that lead to the current situation and meeting as residents are concerned about what this could mean for the community.

In a communication WMATA sent to Councilmember Nadeau and shared with ANC1A and 11th and Bark members just prior to the meeting, they had the following to say, in part:

When Metro receives an unsolicited offer for a property, it first determines if the offer is reasonable and also if the Authority has a long-term operating need for the property.  If there is no long-term operating need for the property and WMATA desires to sell the property, the next step is for Metro to send a letter of notification to the jurisdiction in which the property is located (in this case, the District of Columbia) to first give the local jurisdiction an opportunity to purchase the property at fair market value.  Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulations require Metro to receive fair market value for any disposition of properties such as the one at 11th & Park.  If an offer is accepted by Metro, FTA must also concur with the disposition of the property.

During the community discussion following the overview presentation, Lori Robertson shared that they had met with Jack Evans in the past, and indicated that the property could be valued at $1M. Commissioner Boese shared that the property could be as much as $2M based on experts he had consulted — but that this shouldn’t be considered a lot of money when who looks at how much the District invests in other parks and green spaces in the District — especially if the 11th and Bark group is planning to take on the costs of improving and maintaining the site.

Boese also shared his advice on who the budget process works and the importance of testifying before the relevant Council budget oversight hearings. While it would be helpful to have funding identified in the Mayor’s budget, due to the nature of budget oversight hearings it will be important for the community to be involved and advocate for this cause regardless of whether funding is in the budget or not.

Boese and Castañon also plan to draft a resolution supporting the purchase of the property which will be considered at the February 14, 2018, meeting of ANC1A.

The meeting closed with an overview on the ways neighbors can get involved and advocate for the park, as well as commitments to organized and Earth Day clean up of the dog park and a repeat of the Marty Paws event this year.

Meeting on Columbia Heights Dog Park Scheduled for Wednesday

Posted January 29, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Parks and Green spaces

Tags: , , , ,

Last week, it was learned that the Metro property at 11th and Park Rd, NW — which has been used as an unofficial dog park for years — was one of several properties WMATA would be considering to sell. This has caused great concern among neighbors who regularly use the site. In response to concerns expressed to WMATA and Councilmembers, Metro has postponed their discussion on the 11th and Park site, though still plans to consider it.

Newly elected ANC1A06 Commissioner Angelica Castañon has scheduled a meeting on Wednesday night beginning at 7 pm for the community to discuss the future of the property and potential solutions. The meeting will be at the Raymond Recreation Center.

Flyer with details below.

Historic Preservation Review Board Approves Restoration Plans for Hebrew Home on Spring Road

Posted January 26, 2018 by Kent
Categories: Architecture, Historic Landmarks, Housing, Restoration repair and maintenance

Tags: , , ,

At the January 25, 2018, Historic Preservation Review Board hearing, the Board approved the preservation plan for the renovation of the historic Hebrew Home building at 1125 Spring Road. The case was approved as part of the Board’s consent agenda. The hearing only focused on the overall plan for the historic structure, and not the proposed development east of the property as it does not encroach upon the historic site.

Site plan showing location of non-historic structures to be removed during renovations.

The renovation plan focused on exterior modifications. The primary exterior modifications include complete replacement of existing (non-historic) windows and doors. Aluminum-clad wood windows with simulated divided lights are proposed. The development team consulted historic photographs in order to propose new windows that match the original windows as closely as possible with respect to operation and lite patterns.

Restoration of the existing exterior masonry is also planned as part of the renovation. This will include cleaning and repair/repointing of the brick as necessary. As part of the renovation, a limited number of selective reductions of non-historic exterior elements is proposed including removal of a one-story brick shed on the west side, a one-story open carport structure on the north side, an existing two-story free-standing utility building on the north side and a one-story walkway canopy connecting to the existing adjacent Robeson School building to the east.
Two small additions were also proposed and approved. A one-story addition on the first floor within the existing interior courtyard (and not visible from the exterior) which will provide a multi-use amenity space for residents and a one-story addition on the fifth floor which will provide 2 apartments and a second means of egress from an existing amenity space overlooking Spring Road. This proposed roof addition is located on the east wing adjacent to the interior courtyard and is set back substantially from the east building face to minimize (or eliminate) its visual perception from the public right-of-way.

The existing open space along Spring Road between the Hebrew Home and the adjacent Jewish Social Services Agency building will be redeveloped to create a new pocket park accessible to the public. In keeping with the original character of this exterior space, the design will provide small passive-use spaces with minimal plantings. In order to provide access to the space from the Spring Road streetscape, a new ADA ramp and access stair will be constructed in public space. This will require minor modifications to the existing brick retaining wall at the back of the existing sidewalk.

Below are some renderings filed with the HPRB case.

(Plan showing park area with notations showing improvements.)

(Plan showing location of new additions.)

(Perspective from the southeast (front), identifying location of rooftop addition.)

(Perspective from northwest (rear), identifying location of rooftop addition.)


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