Park Morton Steering Committee Meeting Schedule for Tonight

Posted March 23, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Development, Housing, Zoning

Tags: , ,
Tonight’s scheduled Park Morton Steering Committee meeting is Open to the Public and designed to report out to the community where things are with the project. The meeting will be held at the Park View Recreation Center in the rear community room, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.
Topics to be discussed include:
  1. The Park Morton and Bruce Monroe PUD process and status to date;
  2. Receive an update from the Park Morton Relocation and Re-occupancy sub-committee; and,
  3. The upcoming Bruce Monroe park planning process.

The Zoning Commission held a Public Meeting of March 13, 2017 for Final Action in both Zoning Commission Case No. 16-11 and No. 16-12. Those public meetings are available for viewing here.

(Buildings on Park Road belonging to Park Morton, which will be razed and replaced as part of the Park Morton redevelopment effort.)

Water Main Replacement Project Planned for Columbia Heights

Posted March 22, 2017 by Kent
Categories: DC Water

Tags: ,

Map showing streets impacted by water main replacement project.

DC Water is currently working to schedule a water main replacement project in the Columbia Heights area. The impacted streets will be Irving, Columbia, Harvard, Girard, Fairmont, and Clifton between 13th and 14th Streets. DC Water is in the process of coordinating with DDOT and WMATA and working through the permitting process. The project could begin in April or May.

The mains to be replaced in Columbia Heights are approximately 100 years old, and one of several locations that are part of a much larger project.

When work commences, it will impact two streets at a time. The first sweep will focus on replacing the water mains on each street, which will be followed by all the lead connector service lines from the mains to the edge of the public space being replaced with copper lines if they are lead. DC Water estimates it will take about two to three weeks to work on each block.

While the work is necessary, it will be disruptive to both the immediate community and those who travel through the neighborhood. During construction, parking will not be permitted on affected blocks. Every attempt will be made to keep the streets open to traffic, though there could be occasional times when a street closure is necessary. It is also worth noting that both Irving Street and Columbia Road currently support Metro Bus and shuttles between the Columbia Heights Metro Station and the Washington Hospital Center.

Representatives from DC Water will be attending the ANC1A meeting on April 12th where they will share additional details.

 

New Mural in the Works for 3124 Georgia Avenue

Posted March 20, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Art, Murals

Tags: , , ,

A new mural is being planned for this vacant wall at 3124 Georgia Avenue, NW.

A new mural is in the planning stages for the large vacant wall on the southwest corner of Georgia Avenue and Kenyon Street. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A approved a letter in support of the mural at their March 8, 2017, meeting.

Prior to the approval, Commissioner Rashida Brown had meet with the property’s owner and with Words, Beats & Life with is the organization that has selected the site for the mural. Words, Beats & Life will work closely with the ANC and the community during the mural process. The organization partners with local artists and community members to replace graffiti with art and will provide the supplies and instruction necessary to complete the project.

No design has been shared for this specific site to date.

Salvation Army Seeking Comments on Future for 3335 Sherman Avenue Facility

Posted March 17, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Community Involvement, Development

Tags: ,

The Salvation Army is beginning planning for redevelopment and an upgrade of its Sherman Avenue Corps facility located at 3335 Sherman Avenue, NW (southeast corner of Sherman and Morton). A representative of the Salvation Army was at the March meeting of ANC1A to share some information about this, and stressed that they are at the very beginning stages of this process. As such, they are seeking  comments and input from the community on the facility, its services, and programming for the updated Sherman Avenue Corps. They are also seeking general information on respondents’ knowledge of the Salvation Army.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Salvation Army and provide opinions on the future of their facility right here in the neighborhood (Survey available here).

The Washington Times Sealed Bonnet Contest of 1907

Posted March 16, 2017 by Kent
Categories: History

Tags: ,

One of 16 commemorative loving cups awarded to drivers who completed the 1908 Washington Times Sealed Bonnet Contest.

Georgia Avenue has played many roles since its creation in 1810. One of its more important functions  has been as a gateway into and out of Washington for commerce and transportation.

So when I found a loving cup that commemorated an early automobile endurance test and was able to fix part of the route as being on Georgia Avenue, I was eager to learn more about the event. One of the things I was able to learn was that the trophy was originally one of sixteen such cups that were created for each of those who completed the course in the time allowed. As the goal of an endurance test is to complete the test, there were no official “winners” of the event, merely those who finished and those that did not.

The loving cup is engraved with details of the event, with the full inscription as follows:

The Times

Sealed Bonnet Contest

December 10, 1907

Driver, Isadore Freund Car, Packard

Perfect Score

Washington, Frederick, Ellicott City

Washington

The inscription provides plenty of clues to help track down the story behind the contest — including that it was sponsored by the Washington Times newspaper, that is was a “Sealed Bonnet Contest”, and that the route was from Washington, D.C., to Frederick, Md., to Ellicott City, MD, and back to Washington.

Sealed Bonnet contests were automobile endurance contests that were intended to draw the public’s attention to the durability and reliability of automobiles. They were called “Sealed Bonnet” contests because seals were placed on mechanical parts and the hood (bonnet) of the car to prove that no mechanical repairs had been made during the contest. While the Washington Times contest was not the first such event in the nation (I know of one that was held in New York on May 4, 1907, and I’m sure there were others), it was the earliest such contest organized in Washington, D.C.

Luttrell Garage on 14th Street, where cars were inspected in preparation for the contest.

As suggested by the cup’s inscription, the contest began in Washington. Specifically, the event began at the Luttrell Garage located at 1711-1713 14th Street, NW, where drivers had their cars inspected and sealed the day before the contest, December 9th. The building which once housed Luttrell Garage still stands today.

From Luttrell Garage, the route followed the Seventh Street Pike (Georgia Avenue) north through Silver Spring, Leesboro, Norbeck, and Olney. Here it turned and went through Laytonsville and Damascus on its way to Frederick. Once at Frederick cars turned around and traveled to Ellicott City through New Market, where again cars changed course and headed back toward Silver Spring where they could pick up the Seventh Street Pike and return to the garage on 14th Street. The map below roughly shows the entire 118 mile course.

Weather played its part to make the contest more difficult than expected. Drivers began the contest at 8 a.m. From Washington to Olney they encountered a driving rain. Upon reaching Olney and turning toward Laytonsville, the drivers encountered what was described as a sea of mud. Twenty five of the twenty six drivers successfully navigated the muddy conditions. While a few drivers were able to pull through the mud without stopping, every driver encountered difficulty as the mud came up to the bodies of the cars. The rain continued nearly until reaching Frederick, where it began to break. By the time drivers neared Ellicott City they encountered clear skies with a bright moon. Upon leaving Ellicott City, drivers were again confronted by bad weather, this time by a squall of snow, hail, and rain.

Twenty six drivers had entered the contest. Remarkably sixteen completed the course without mechanical problems and within the time permitted. Each of these would receive a silver loving cup trophy commemorating their accomplishment. Four cars did not finish due to mechanical failures that included a broken cylinder, a broken spark plug, and a broken axle. Six drivers were disqualified.

The contest captured the imagination of Washingtonians and helped popularized automobiles in the District of Columbia. One result was that automobile dealers reported an unexpected increase in the sales of all types of cars following the event. Capitalizing on their success, the Washington Times held a second Sealed Bonnet Contest on June 9, 1908, which was sanctioned by the American Automobile Association and received wider interest that the 1906 event — including drivers from Baltimore and Philadelphia.

(Photograph of a Mitchell Runabout with two of the sixteen Sealed Bonnet trophies on its running board)

Work Continues with Park Road Church Project

Posted March 15, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Architecture, Housing

Tags: , ,

Rowhouse at 633 Park Rd in process of being razed.

The project to redevelop the old church at 625 Park Road, the surface parking lot, and the rowhouse at 633 Park Road appears to be moving again. While work appeared to stall in mid-February, by the end of the month new fencing went up and over the past week the rowhouse at 633 has been razed. The approved plans are for new construction connected to the historic church to create 38 new housing units in the neighborhood.

Below are views of the property with the house razed.

 

Arrest Made in Casa Ruby Vandalism/Assult, Casa Ruby Seeks Donations for Repairs

Posted March 14, 2017 by Kent
Categories: Community Involvement, Fundraisers, Public Safety

Tags: , ,

Vandalism of door at Casa Ruby

On Sunday at around 2 pm Casa Ruby — located at 2822 Georgia Avenue — was vandalized and the perpetrator engaged in a verbal altercation with a staff member working at the center. Casa Ruby is a drop-in center and advocacy organization for transgender women which was founded in 2004 by Ruby Corado. As the subject left the building, he threw a brick at the door causing damage.

On Monday, March 13, pursuant to a DC Superior Court arrest warrant, Andrew Cook of Southeast, DC, was arrested and charged with Felony Destruction of Property. He was additionally charged with Simple Assault and Threatening to Kidnap or Injure a Person.

I can’t thank MPD enough for their support of Casa Ruby and swift response, but Casa Ruby also needs help in repairing the damage. A gofundme campaign has been set up “to help raise enough money to help Casa Ruby get better security doors as to keep everyone inside safe and make them feel safe.  The transgender community and especially our youth really need our help right now.”

Please consider supporting Casa Ruby to help them repair damage and upgrade their safety.

(Ruby Corado (center) of Casa Ruby)2


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