Archive for the ‘Public space’ category

Improvements Coming to Wangari Gardens — Which Options do You Like?

October 12, 2020

Wangari Gardens recently received two small grants to make improvements to the site and they are seeking community feedback on the future design of the gardens. You can see the four proposed designs here.

The gardeners have created a brief questionnaire and are seeking community input to ensure that changes to Wangari don’t just improve the gardens, but also serve the greater community.

Take the survey here! The survey will close on October 31, 2020.

One of the four designs created by UMD Students for Wangari Gardens

Wangari Gardens is cared for entirely by residents. This past Spring they hosted a design workshop and online survey, with the support of landscape architecture students from the University of Maryland. Wangari received a dozen visualizations of those ideas and have selected four designs to serve as examples to present to all of the gardeners, neighbors, and the wider community for input.

The survey will ask you about your reactions to the four student designs. Based on the responses Wangari will prepare a formal open space plan for the site with funding from a Pepco Sustainable Communities grant and the help of a local professional.

Columbia Heights Farmers Market 2017 Season Underway

April 25, 2017

The 2017 season of the Columbia Heights Farmers Market kicked of on Saturday, April 24th. The market will be a regular feature at the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza on Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm.

Beginning on May 31st, 2017, the market will also be open on Wednesday evenings from 4-7 pm. You can see a list of this year’s vendors here, and a few photos from this year’s opening day below.

New Soofa Bench Placed at Columbia Heights Civic Plaza

October 18, 2016

Soofa Bench(Soofa Bench on the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza)

If you have been on the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza in the last week, you may have noticed that DPR has placed a new Soofa bench in the center of the space. While the bench is kind of cool, the placement of the bench and the overall lack of a community process leading to its installation leave a lot to be desired. The bench is right in the middle of the plaza, where it will disrupt pedestrian movement through the plaza, particularly during the farmers market days and other public events.

But in looking at the bench itself, it is a good idea that I hope we’ll start to see in locations better suited to its design and service. The Soofa Bench is a solar-powered bench that charges phones and monitors its environment. I could see these benches being really useful in spaces like the 11th and Park Road dog park and at many of our parks and playgrounds.

Seeking Feedback on Long-Term Uses for the Bruce Monroe Parcel

August 10, 2015

The ANC 1A Task Force focused on the long-term use of the Bruce Monroe site is seeking public participation through a survey that is available online and will be distributed in print as well.

Bruce monroe site(The former Bruce Monroe site (shaded) showing area zoned commercial (east of blue line) and residential (west of blue line)).

For the past five years the Bruce Monroe parcel located at Georgia and Irving has been a temporary park. Despite modest improvements, the site continues to under-serve the community. Early development proposals in October 2010 in response to the city’s call for proposals went no where, and the property has mostly been a nearly three acre open space since that time with the exception of a fairly successful community garden located in the southwest corner of the property.

There have been many ideas over the years on what the future of the parcel could hold, including an idea I floated in November 2013 to use part of the land to help get the Park Morton redevelopment underway.

In an attempt to find a long-term solution to this parcel, ANC 1A passed a resolution to form a task force in February 2014, to begin working with community members and develop a better sense of where the community is on this issue. The result is a survey that is available online and will be distributed in print as well.

Below is the full announcement from  the area listservs. Please take a moment and send in your thoughts on the parcel.

The 1A Advisory Neighborhood Commission’s Bruce Monroe Task Force is soliciting community input to identify the desirable long-term use(s) for the former Bruce Monroe School site located at 3000 Georgia Ave NW Washington, DC 20010 (between Irving St and Columbia Rd). The Government of the District of Columbia currently owns this parcel. This site was formally designated to establish the Bruce Monroe Elementary School, which was later demolished in 2009. Currently, the site is designated for temporary park use. We need your input to determine the potential permanent use(s) for this site.The survey link can be found here:  This survey will take about 5 minutes to complete. The deadline to submit your response is September 9, 2015. Feel free to contact Commissioner Rashida Brown if you have any questions at 1a10(at) or (202) 903-4561.

Columbia Height’s “The Coupe” Applies for Outdoor Seating

July 11, 2013

The Coupe
At last night’s ANC 1A meeting we learned that The Coupe, located at 3415 11th Street, NW (southeast corner of Monroe) has applied for a public space permit for outdoor seating. ANC 1A considered the matter and voted to support the application by a vote of 5 in favor, 4 against, and 3 absentions.

According to the presentation, here are the basics:

They plan on putting two rows of 2-top seating directly in front of all the bays except for the one by the bar which has pepco grates. The total count  will be  25 tables and 50 seats. Around the perimeter, low profile (18″ high) decorative rails will be used define the space. They will not be affixed to the pavement. As planned, the railing will be placed so that it preserves 6 feet of sidewalk clearance between the railing and the grassy curb area. This clearance is in keeping with the other businesses along 11th Street.

The proposed hours of operation are:

  • 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. — Monday through Thursday
  • 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. — Friday
  • 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Saturday
  • 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. — Sunday

That said, The Coupe still needs to go before the public space committee for their determination and go through the ABRA process for approval to serve alcohol outdoors so this issue isn’t completely settled yet … nor should anyone expect to see tables outside in the coming weeks.

Below are the sidewalk plan and elevation of the Coupe’s proposed sidewalk cafe.

Sidewalk plan showing proposed locations of tables and chairs.

Sidewalk plan showing proposed locations of tables and chairs.

Elevation illustrating style of fencing and associated height.

Elevation illustrating style of fencing and associated height.

Z Burger Public Space Application Approved by the Public Space Committee

May 27, 2012

Z-Burger will be located in the former Tivoli Theater

Z Burger’s application for a sidewalk cafe permit at 14th Street and Park Rd, NW, was heard on the evening of May 24th by the District’s Public Space Committee (PSC). Z Burger’s pubic space application has been under review for nearly a year, first coming before ANC 1A in July 2011.

According to an email send out by Commissioner Laina Aquiline (1A 05) on the Columbia Heights listserv, below is the outcome of the PSC’s review of the application.

Z Burger’s application for a sidewalk cafe was approved contingent upon the following conditions (please note: this is not the specific language used by the committee, but a summation):

1)  Z Burger will choose furniture that is more consistent with the furniture at other restaurants in the Columbia Heights Public Realm, subject to the approval of the Office of Planning.

2) The layout of the sidewalk cafe as applied for by Z Burger will remain the same, except for the removal of a four-top table (the middle of the three tables to the left (west) of the granite bench) and the handicap four-top table adjacent will be shifted to the left (west), in the former table’s place, allowing greater access to the granite bench.

3) Z Burger will only have a fence that runs parallel to Park Rd.  There will be no fence enclosing the bench or on either the east or west sides of the cafe.

I have attached a copy of Z Burger’s plan.  You will have to mentally make the modifications to the plan as approved by the PSC.  The photo of the fence attached is what I believe PSC approved.  When I receive a final version of the committee’s decision, including images of the fence, I will provide it.


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