January 29, 2015
Written testimony to HPRB Case HP-15-133
Proposed Subdivision of McMillan Site
Daniel Goldon Wolkoff
McMillan Coalition for Sustainable Agriculture
1231 Randolph Street NE
Washington, DC 20017
McMillan is the only park where your kids can safely play and bike in a large outdoor open green space.
Save McMillan Park, like a decent world class city, with an honest government.
The real issue is the theft, from the people of the city, and the nation, of a significant work of landscape architecture and industrial design, by it's own Mayor and City Council and submissive agencies who have failed to protect the people of Washington, and violated the law.
These officials, some already convicted felons, have committed theft, of the Historic protected work of turn-of-the-20th century master designers, brought to Washington by Senator McMillan, an important historic site, a critical public amenity, and a potentially important backup system for clean water.
Senator McMillan and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. must be turning in their graves, to see the dereliction of Historic Preservation perpetrated by the DC HPRB, the HPRB Staff, and it's collusion with DC govt. agencies, OP, DMPED, DC Zoning Commission, the Mayor's Agent , DC City Council and Mayor Vincent Gray(still un-indicted).
The HPRB and it's Staff, and all these so-called officials, have violated the DC Historic Preservation act since 1987, and the public trust they accept on gaining office, as the Vision McMillan Partners Billion dollar theft of public assets progresses ahead by institutional government corruption.
To understand the loss to our city and nation, please read your own nomination to the National Register of Historic Places by HPO 's Architectural Historian Kim Williams
Ms. Williams describes a remarkably intact, fascinating, even charming, engineering marvel, associated with public health and fresh water, our heritage.
Our heritage, that you, the worshipers and servants of corporate profits, are asking to demolish and over build with 50 hideous, brutalist structures, 6 asphalt paved "private" streets, 3000 asphalt paved parking spaces and, destructively bringing 20,000 additional automobiles to congest our neighborhoods and pollute our air each day..
Why did HPO and staff achieve the historic designation, and it's protection of the site, only to play such an integral roll in the corporate effort to demolish it, and super urbanize the last large green space in DC, as crass suburban office and condo park, on our publicly owned land?
The rational about VMP preserving the historic structures, and their mediocre plans, having a cohesive relationship to the original designated historic place, is ABSURD and OFFENSIVE, and every one of you KNOW IT!.
Most disgusting and offensive, is the corruption and malfeasance, surrounding this theft. How can all the evaluations, oversight, Zoning, Mayor's Agent, City Council and Mayor's " Surplus and Land Disposition" and all DC agencies charged with protecting the commons, be RUNNING concurrently, and not be declared COERCIVE and be rejected as corrupt?
Do you, HPRB et al., expect us to believe that these agencies have evaluated this humongous multi-billion dollar development plan, objectively? While simultaneously, the City Council is perpetrating the "public to corporate GIVE-AWAY" of McMillan's 25 acres of prime central DC real estate to Trammel Crow, the powerful development conglomerate. And as of today, paying them over $150 million in public money, for still un-estimated engineering costs! All happening in the hottest real estate market in DC history, and smack on top of a disastrous infrastructure failure, of storm water runoff and human sewage flooding into area homes?
Do you really expect us to believe you?
Not everyone in this city is that naive, and we will see you in court!
Is this not corrupt COLLUSION as the Deputy Mayor is both applicant and regulator at the same time, and all evaluative agencies are under the same DC office? Do you really expect us to believe the Mayor's Agent can carry out the DC Historic Preservation Laws objectively, and protect our public interest, with this coercive pressure on his head? Please spare us the cynicism, when he had not even heard the community opposition, while the DC Zoning Commission already approved the "Monstrosity on Michigan Avenue". Not Coercive, not a fixed process? Before the Mayor's Agent has made his decision, or has it been made for him perhaps, the City Council voted unanimously to "give away" our land, our money, $billions at McMillan to Trammel Crow. How did a City Council, who speak incessantly, and question intolerably, vote for the "land surplus and disposal" with no comments, and no questions, literally in 30 seconds, on the last day of Grays term. Vote with no questions asked and no comments at all!
What happened to Chairman Mendelson's letter to HPRB? To preserve the site and not demolish the historic structures, how does the same politician rush the vote, and award this miserable developer $150 million to demolish the historic structures, when altyernatives are suppressed that make demolition not necessary. Mendelson and the Council actually gave VMP a blank check, no one has estimated the costs as Deputy Mayor M. Jeffrey Miller admitted in City Council testimony.
A blank check with the people of DC's signature on it.
Deputy Mayor M. Jeffrey Miller, also testified that no estimate or analysis has ever been done, to judge the potential of Saving McMillan Park, unlike NY, Seattle, Paris, Istanbul, and numerous real world capitols, with civic minded planners and historic preservation agencies. Not submissive fools to the Real Estate "Growth machine", selling out their own neighborhoods, their own children and grandchildren in gross violation of Historic Preservation's professional ethics. The VMP plan and the supporters in the government are making a mockery of our city.
Where is all this "protection of DC historic laws, and the public interest, when in December 2013, Deputy Mayor at DMPED M. Jeffrey Miller hired the Jamie Fontaine PR firm to "neutralize opposition", "create the impression of community support for the development plan" and "muzzle the media"? When does the HPRB and it's staff do the job you are paid for, enforcing the DC and Federal Historic Preservation laws, to protect DC public wealth, the commons, by the people of DC for the people!
Long time activist for McMillan Park, landscape architect Mary Pat Rowan reveals the PR firm “astroturf campaign” in this City Council Committee "Oversight" hearing on Feb 11, 2014, with Muriel Bowser. In this "oversight" hearing, Deputy Mayor M. Jeffrey Miller lies to Chairperson Bowser's face, that the government did not pay for the "sleaze campaign" in December 2013, but we have the invoice he siigned. She even acts as if it bothers her, she says it doesn't look good to the public, and then does absolutely nothing about it, some "oversight"!
WHO IS MINDING THE FOX!
The DC government is an international embarrassment, and so are all these collusive, manipulative, deceptive, dishonest and corrupt agencies, departments and review boards!
Our city could be a world leader in culture, and art, and provide the long term planning that a world class city requires, but for the destructiveness, mediocrity and hypocrisy of your work!
For our children and the future of our city, you can be ashamed, because, stolen here, is the possibility for a badly needed world-class cultural and recreational facility.
Why exactly does Bethesda and Potomac, deserve a Glen Echo, magnificently restored historic 1890's and art deco 1930's community campus for education and the arts? Why can't DC similairly for their families and young, with activities and classes 365 days a year, a 95 page course offering?
You, the OHP staff and HPRB VIOLATES the DC historic Preservation laws you are required to uphold, and YOU facilitate this THEFT of public assets by Trammel Crow. Their VMP plan is NOT a project of "special merit", it is a GOD awful environmentally destructive carbon emitting heat island, and I wonder what exactly is your reward for such subversion of the public interest. A futuire job with Trammel Crow, like DMPED McMillan project director, Shiv Newaldass, alreeady moving up to work with developer Menkiti Group? A revolving door that would be illegal in the Federal government!
Peter Byrne, Anthony Hood, David Maloney , Jair Lynch, Akash Takkur, Steve Calcott, M.Jeffrey Miller, Victor Hoskins, Vincent Gray, Harry "Tommy" Thomas Jr., Michael Brown and Kwame Brown, Neil Albert, and "proud" of this, Anne Corbet, abusing power and using Jamie Fontaine, and hot shot lobbyists The Carmen Group, to subvert the public will.
Time to slap yourselves on the back, corruption, "business as usual", campaign fraud and complete absence of informed consent of the governed, has won again.
This is the list of criminal, and embarrassing DC govt. officials you have joined.
At McMillan, after you HPO and HPRB, failed to do your job, to enforce the historic preservation laws for 27 years, why don't we FINALLY have a real project of "special merit", a place for DC youth to keep engaged in healthy activity, a skating rink, a Wolf Trap in DC for outdoor concert stage, libraries, and community building activities, demanded by the people of DC since 1945.
The HPRB participation in the demolition of the site's underground water filtration vaults is a crime against our clean water security, as our water and sewer system are in collapse, what a subterfuge! That violates the international movement of sustainable adaptive-reuse, the environmental ethic, you hypocrites never stop talking about, the most green building is the one "already built"! Wake up HPO, it's not too late, back off, like real civic minded honest professionals, experts in your field, not an embarrassment.
We can save the water filtration cells, the historic structures you are charged with protecting, and save the surface park for posterity, our own public health and for our children, WE MUST STOP VMP and corrupt city officials now. IT IS SIMPLE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE MUST BE SERVED!
The critical preservation, NOT DEMOLITION, of the 20 acres underground, allows for saving the entire 25 acre surface park for our children, and provides a smart back up system for clean water and numerous public activities in adaptive re-use.
A "project of special merit" is when we move into 21 century urban planning, save our architectural heritage the underground filtration vaults, and in adaptive re-use incorporate numerous healthy activities like "vertical indoor agriculture", , and produce millions of pounds of organic fresh vegetables and tilapia. Create local food security as draughts in California, Central America and mexico threaten our food suply and depend on polluting wastful truck transport.
With proven vertical indoor growing technology we could convert the McMillan/Olmsted Park underground vaults to a fully functional, local food production facility, making it a truly sustainable site. Imagine superior organic fresh fruit, vegetables and Family Farmed Fish freshly produced right here in
This special site needs to be preserved for public use. The declaration by Mayor Gray, to comitt this Theft, called "surplus land and disposal", that “there is no longer any public use for the land”, is an insulting lie and abuse of power, after 27 years of "gross malfeasance in office. Consecutive DC govt. administrations committed "theft of enjoyment" , incalculable value robbed from our population, and now this tiny group of arrogant, self important, appointed and barely elected DC officials, some in prison and convicted of felonies, some to be charged with crimes soon, must be stopped and democracy and citizen participation decide, in a real open community based process.
Now we have no checks or balances!
Muriel Bowser and David Catania called for Gray to resign upon the discovery of his massive conspiracy to commit electoral fraud, and now they both carry out his theft of public assets, an international embarrassment, and HPRB, and staff, your participation is critical to this crime.
The lack of such amenities, especially open green space, in this part of the city and the contrast with the number and quality of parks in the NW quadrant is another important aspect of the scandal. Blatant racial and economic class discrimination from all DC govt. officials is exactly the reason the land was never opened to the public. Had McMillan been located in Georgetown or Chevy Chase, would it have been fenced off with barbed wire for 27 years?
Please don't be ridiculous, racism against the community East of 16th street is still going on, and this theft of public land would not happen in upper NW,
or if the VMP Plan is so "special", should we get a nice section of Rock Creek Park ceded to the district, for another massive hideous development, a bigger one!
This staff report below, is offensive double speak and must be rejected. The staff and HPRB are violating their legally required protection of DC historic site at McMillan. They failed in their role since 1987, and now this final obnoxious indignity to our heritage is being committed, to move our wealth , $billions and our land, and park space, to mediocre development conglomerate headed by Trammel Crow.
HPRB and Staff are abusing their public trust, their professional experience and participating in a massive theft of public wealth. OWN THIS!
David Maloney "State Historic Preservation Officer" wrote a letter to DC Zoning to bypass the Federal Historic Covenants placed on the site, that letter was absurd double speak, and David Maloney should be fired, along with any staff that is participating in this THEFT OF PUBLIC LAND.
No public hearings had taken place at HPRB, and the staff had already decided" the developetrs tell us the the site is too deteriorated for restoration, unfortunately we recommend demolition and development". Unfortunately DC agencies are corrupt, and willing to lie, manipulate, hire unethical PR firms to pollute our process, avoid informing the public, and bend over for the profit of powerfyul corporations, unquestionably to the detriment and expense of the public good, the commons are not safe in DC!
Nor is our future , our health and our quality of life.
This recommendation is double speak garbage, an affront to common sense, you corrupt manipulation and we reject this.
"The HPO recommends that the Board find that the subdivision
of the McMillan Sand Filtration Site is incompatible with the character
of the landmark but reconfirm to the Mayor’s Agent that the master
plan has been developed to mitigate many of the adverse effects
of the subdivision in the event that the project is found to be one of
HPRB staff and review board, do you really believe it was worth this treason against the public interest to keep your jobs?
Has a lucrative job been offered to you? How many are going to VMP, EYA, Jair Lynch or Trammel Crow or Holland And Knight, like Neil Albert did after he moved the McMillan project into his agency? Or Jeff Miller did when he left Trammel Crow and then got his position at DMPED and supervised his former corporations "Entitlement" to make $100's of millions on the DC public?