Posted tagged ‘Pleasant Plains’

George Walker: Prominent Composer & Washingtonian Grew Up on Sherman Avenue

December 24, 2012
(ASSOCIATED PRESS) - A 1996 photograph of George Walker

(ASSOCIATED PRESS) – A 1996 photograph of George Walker

I truly hope folks read the article in Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine about composer George Walker. If not, Parlor piano inspired career is available online and you can catch up on your reading. I’m highlighting this not only because I find Walker’s life and accomplishments inspirational, but because he grew up in our community.

His childhood home is located at 3222 Sherman Avenue, NW. Walker was born in 1922 and according to the Post article, considered this his home until his farther died in 1954.

His father emigrated to the United States, where he became a physician after graduating from Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia.  George Walker’s mother, Rosa King, supervised her son’s first piano lessons that began when he was five years of age. His first teacher was Miss Mary L. Henry. Mrs. Lillian Mitchell Allen, who had earned a doctorate in music education, became his second piano teacher. There is a good overview of his career here.

George Walker grew up at 3222 Sherman Avenue, NW.

George Walker grew up at 3222 Sherman Avenue, NW.

In 1997, mayor Marion Barry proclaimed June 14 George Walker Day in the District of Columbia. The citation that accompanied that proclamation summed up Walker’s accomplishments as follows:

“A native Washingtonian and a product of D.C. public schools, . . . he was the first black graduate of the Curtis Institute, the first black to earn a doctorate degree from the Eastman School of Music, the first black pianist to play with the Philadelphia Orchestra and to obtain major management under the aegis of National Concert Artists and Columbia Artists Management; and in 1996, was the first black recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Music.”

Walker is certainly someone all Washingtonians should be familiar with and proud of.

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Dedicated Bus/Bike Lanes Coming to Lower Georgia Avenue

October 10, 2012

If you drive, ride, or commute along southern Georgia Avenue, here’s something that should be of interest. I’m sure this will be particularly true of the many area bikers. DDOT is proposing exclusive bus lanes on Georgia Avenue between Barry Place and Florida Avenue. To assist them in designing the bus lanes and streetscape, they want community input in this process.

DDOT will be presenting two options.  The first is for exclusive shared bus and bike lanes north and southbound, with a left turn lane northbound at Barry and a left turn lane southbound at Bryant.  The second proposal includes the first, but makes Barry one way westbound and provides flashing yellow lights 24 hour northbound on Georgia at Barry and southbound at Georgia at Bryant.

According to information shared by Sylvia Robinson on the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force e-mail blast, meetings have been scheduled for the following dates and times:

The following meetings will be held with DDOT to discuss these options:

Monday October 15th from 5-7 p.m. at the DC Housing Finance Auditorium – 815 Florida Ave. NW (click on flyer above for details)

Wednesday October 24th at 7 p.m. (GA Ave Community Development Task Force Meeting) at ECAC – 733 Euclid St. NW (accessible entrance in the rear – call (202) 462-2285 if assistance is needed)

For questions on this proposal contact:
Wendy Peckham
Phone: 202-671-4581
Email: wendy.peckham (at) dc.gov

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Harrar Coffee at 2904 Georgia Closer to Opening

August 28, 2012

2904 Georgia Avenue

2904 Georgia Avenue, which is in the process of becoming Harrar Coffee, passed another hurdle on August 22nd. That’s when DCRA issued a permit to them for “Construction/Alteration and Repair” with the scope of work listed as: “Conversion of Retail Convenience store on first floor to a 12-seat & 35 occupancy load Prepared Food Shop/Coffee Shop.”

While Park View proper does not yet have a coffee shop of its own, I’m sure that is only a matter of time. I feel particularly confident in this since “coffee shop” was the most popular choice during the recent survey of the types of businesses that residents in the community would like to see here.

But, until that day, it will be nice to have a coffee shop a few blocks to the south (with Harrar) and the north (at Qualia) as well as during brunch at DC Reynolds.

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2920 Georgia Avenue Another Step Closer to Development

August 7, 2012

2920 Georgia Avenue is completely fenced in — generally a first sign that redevelopment is around the corner

The redevelopment of 2920 Georgia Avenue has been somewhat under the radar and not widely talked about in the neighborhood, although I first alluded to it in July 2011. Yet, in looking at the property it appears to be all set for the wrecking ball and has been completely fenced in.

2920 is on the northwest corner of Georgia Avenue and Hobart Street, NW. According to Urban Turf, the development is in the pipeline for completion as early as the 4th quarter of 2013. The property is to be built by Linde Development, which plans to build a 4-story new construction market-rate condominium building with 26 units.

Below is a rendering of the proposed development:

Rendering of proposed condominium building for 2920 Georgia (image courtesy of Urban Turf)

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New Capital Bikeshare Station at Columbia Rd & Georgia Avenue

December 9, 2011

The new Bikeshare station at Georgia and Columbia Rd

Earlier this week, the greater Park View/Pleasant Plains communities got another Capital Bikeshare station.  The latest expansion of the program included a new station located on the northwest corner of Georgia Avenue and Columbia Road. It is located just west of the intersection along the southern border of Bruce Monroe Park.

Prior to this station, the Park View community was primarily served by the Bikeshare stations at Georgia & Fairmont, 11th & Kenyon, and Georgia & Rock Creek Church Road. There is also strong community interest for a station at Georgia & Park Rd. Readers and suggest future Bikeshare stations directly to the program at this Web site.

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Heritage Trail Signs Popping Up in the Neighborhood

September 28, 2011

Sign 18 located at Georgia Ave. and Park Rd.

People walking along Lower Georgia Avenue yesterday may have noticed that the signs for the Georgia Avenue/Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail have begun to be installed. According to a post by Sylvia Robinson on the Columbia Heights Listserv, 11 out of the 19 signs for the trail were installed yesterday.

In Park View, signs 17 (Morton Street & Georgia) and 18 (Park Road & Georgia) have been installed. Sign 16 located at Kenyon — which is devoted to Park View — did not appear to be installed yet.

The pictures here are from sign 18 (right and below) and sign 19 (below) and focus on area grocery stores, the Tenth Precinct building, and the Soldiers’ Home.

The trail begins at 7th and S Streets and ends at Georgia and New Hampshire Avenues.  Again from the listserv announcement — “Save the date of Saturday October 15th at 11 a.m. for the official launch of the Trail on the grounds of Howard University Hospital.”

The very first Giant Food Supermarket, once located where the Spring Laundry is today, is among the items of interest on sign 18

Sign 19, located at Georgia and New Hampshire Aves.

South side of sign 19

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Jazz Club/Theater Coming to Neighborhood

September 12, 2011
2917 Georgia Avenue

According to the Washington Business Journal, the latest plans for 2917 Georgia Avenue NW  is to become a Jazz Club and Theater.

The following details are from the WBJ — Kerry Lewis, with his wife Charletta, leased the 4,400-square-foot property with one-year option to buy.  The have invested about $60,000 to build out the space and expect it will take an additional $40,000 to get the project completed.  Lewis has enlisted Pin Points to be the resident theater company, performing shows at noon and 6 p.m. The space would be rented to other organizations during the remaining time and host jazz musicians for late-night shows.

This is a huge change from the high-end liquor store that was originally proposed for the space on June 17th. That ABRA application met with stiff community and ANC opposition and was eventually withdrawn by owner Michael Ressom by the beginning of August.

(Thanks to the readers that wrote in about this)

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2910 Georgia Avenue Looking Good

August 12, 2011


As 2910 Georgia nears completion, I wanted to post an updated photo to show its street appearance. I, for one, think the building is turning out to be rather attractive and really like the color they’ve chosen for the bay windows. It’s so nice to find someone who isn’t afraid of color and didn’t paint it white, cream, or yellow.

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Community Meeting Tonight on Future of Columbia Heights/Park View/Pleasant Plains Sign

August 1, 2011

This neighborhood gateway sign at Irving and Georgia Avenue dates to ca. 2006

Tonight, Monday August 1, 2011, at 8 p.m. there will be a community meeting to discuss the future of the neighborhood sign at the corner of Georgia and Irving Streets. The meeting will be at the sign. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the future of the sign — particularly the wording — as Irving Street residents make preparations to replace the sign.

All members of the community are invited to participate as are Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners. If there are too many participants for the Irving Street location the meeting will move across the street to Bruce Monroe Park.

In recent years, the residents of the 400, 500, & 600 blocks of Irving Street, NW, have become increasingly active in taking ownership and responsibility for keeping their street beautiful and clean. They have organized regular trash and little clean ups as well as actively partnering with MPD and other city services to remove area graffiti. As part of their Irving Street beautification effort they would like to replace the gateway sign located on the southeast corner of Irving and Georgia.

Since the sign is located on public space DDOT requires a public space permit. As part of that process the ANC weighs in on the use of the space. When members of the community first brought this issue before ANC 1A at the June 8, 2011, meeting it resulted in a split vote that ultimately failed to support the proposal. This was due largely to the item being added to the agenda at the last-minute which did not permit the commissioners the opportunity to discuss the proposal in advance. Additionally there was concern over the wording of the sign. The outcome of the June ANC meeting was that there needed to be a broader community meeting inclusive of Commissioner Lenwood Johnson to better determine the final sign design.

The current sign contains the neighborhood names of “Columbia Heights,” “Parkview,” [SIC] and “Pleasant Plains.” According to Irving Street resident Tommy Duren, it was erected to replace an earlier sign that had the same names on it and a smaller sign below it with text similar to: This grove dedicated to Van McCoy by Earl & Marion Douglas and the neighbors.” The earlier sign ceased to be on the site sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

To help provide guidance to the community, Commissioner Boese — as Chair of the Historic Preservation, Development, & Design Review Committee — authored a report on the boundaries of the Columbia Heights, Park View, and Pleasant Plains neighborhoods. The report was accepted and filed at the ANC 1A July meeting but has not yet been discussed by the commissioners.

The goal of tonight’s meeting is to achieve consensus on the sign’s wording so that the public space permitting/ANC review process can move forward.

The sign at Georgia and Irving Street has seen better days. Residents would like to replace it with a more durable sign to help beautify the community

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Bruce Monroe Park Finally has Water

July 26, 2011

One of several new water spigots at Bruce Monroe Park

As I suspected at the beginning of July, the city was in the process of bringing water to Bruce Monroe Park. Any visitor to the park will now find several water hookups in the northern and western sections of the grounds. It was particularly important to get water to the community garden and that has been accomplished.

With water now on site, the only major outstanding amenity that was promised to the community is a central structure. I would also hope that the District consider lighting for the basketball and tennis court areas.

As you can see below, the community garden area is already active with some areas being planted. It looks like there are still a few sections that haven’t been built yet and possibly a few open garden beds. I’d be surprised if the uncultivated areas remain open for long, however, now that water is available.

Community garden at Bruce Monroe Park

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