Thursday, March 31, 2016

GGW: "Eckington is wrestling with whether to be a historic district"

Click on the link to read the entire Greater Greater Washington blog post and to see the included images -- and to read the long list of comments.

Eckington is wrestling with whether to be a historic district

by Edward Russell   •   March 31, 2016

Eckington is the latest DC neighborhood to explore historic status. Residents' debate over the subject has centered on their ability to make changes to their property, like adding solar panels and build additions, and the impact such a move would have on affordability.

The effort is being led by the Eckington Civic Association (ECA), which has engaged QED Associates to establish the neighborhood's historic character and organized three "town halls," two of which were held earlier this year with the third scheduled for May 9.

"The two things that come up are pop-ups and other projects that are not within historical keeping of the neighbourhood," said Randy Nolan, president of the civic association, when asked why they are looking at historic preservation for the neighborhood.

He is quick to note that the topic is nuanced and that the ECA has not taken an official position on historic designation, except to follow its membership's desire that the topic be explored and considered.

The ECA began the effort after neighboring Bloomingdale began looking at historic designation, with the association's board approving the study and town halls in the middle of 2015, said Nolan.

Below is a comment not posted at GGW, but rather at the Historic Washington list at Yahoogroups, by Historic Washington listserv moderator Mary Rowse:

Sent: Friday, April 1, 2016 11:03 AM
Subject: [HistoricWashington] Re: Query - Eckington historic preservation meeting

Here's a report that appeared Thursday on the effort to consider historic designation in Eckington.  The article is a bit slanted against it and the comments at the end reflect the usual ignorance about the benefits of designation, why an area deserves the status, the cost of being in a historic district and whether new construction is permitted.  See a quote from the author below:

"But one would probably not characterize Eckington as all that unique on first glance. It is certainly one of DC's many beautiful older neighborhoods, but it does not stand out in the same way some of the city's better-known historic districts in Capital Hill and Georgetown do."

I suspect the only reason those neighborhoods "stand out" to the author is precisely because they're designated.  There's a cache to protected areas that he doesn't articulate.  Residents have a different sense of well-being in historic districts than those who live in unprotected areas who worry about what's coming down the pike next. The author sees no irony in admiring Capitol Hill and Georgetown Historic Districts, but not appreciating the same qualities in Eckington.  I've found it fairly typical of people who are on the fence about preservation, to take their communities for granted. 

It would really help streamline the designation process and give everyone the same information, if HPO would produce a comprehensive publication making the case for neighborhood historic districts across the city.  The booklet could offer information and rebut common misconceptions about historic designation.  Chevy Chase produced a good publication in 2006, with the help of Traceries. 

I wrote something in 2008 that could be useful as well: 

Mary Rowse

Capitol Food Mark, 1634 North Capitol St NW: produce & deli now available !

From: Eskedar Melaku
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2016 10:58 AM
Subject: Capitol Food Market

Good Morning Scott,

My name is Eskedar Melaku and my family owns Capitol Food Market/Mart. We now have produce and a deli available at the market and we've been working hard to improve offerings for the neighborhood. Would you be able to share the following flyers on your blog and social media outlets to help us spread the word? It would be great if you could also send it out on your listserv.  

Let me know what's possible, we greatly appreciate it! Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions.

Thank you,


121 V St NW to be converted into a two-family flat, which is permitted by-right in R-4-zoned neighborhoods

Washington Business Journal reporter Michael Neibauer spotted this Bloomingdale street address today is his permit review.

121 V St. NW: The basement of this single-family will be converted into a second unit, creating a two-family flat.

Bertha Holliday: "Clarification re McMILLAN DEVELOPMENT UPDATE as noted in the 3/29/16 listserv/blog posting under the topic of 'ANC 5E04 March 2016 Community Update' "

From: Bertha Holliday
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2016 6:55 AM
Subject: FOR POSTING: Clarification re McMILLAN DEVELOPMENT UPDATE as noted in the 3/29/16 listserv/blog posting under the topic of "ANC 5E04 March 2016 Community Update"

This communication related to McMillan represents excerpts from the response of the developer's attorney to Holliday's letter of concern. I believe that response contains some errors of fact as well as omissions of significance. I will address these in a letter to Zoning Commission and post that letter on this listserv once it is public. 
Bertha Holliday

Bertha Holliday, PhD
Independent Consultant 
Diversity assessment, planning, implementation & evaluation 

Commissioner, ANC 5E07
Treasurer ANC 5E
Washington, DC 

Member At  Large
Executive Committee 
Division 45 (Culture, Ethnicity & Race)
American Psychological Association 

Fellow , APA

Here is the part of ANC 5E04 Commissioner Sylvia Pinkney's "ANC 5E04 March 2016 Community Update" that Dr. Holliday is referencing above:

This message from ANC5E04 Commissioner Sylvia Pinkney is from the Eckington list at Google Groups.

ANC 5E04 March 2016 Community Update

The next ANC 5E public monthly meeting is scheduled to convene on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 7:00 pm, Friendship-Armstrong Public Charter School, 1400 First Street, NW.

McMillan Development

Following the March 10, hearing on the application for the Zoning Commission Case number 13-14B Modification to a Consolidated Planned Unit Development for Parcel 4, grocery store and senior building submitted a request to reopen the record. The request was granted. In her testimony, Commissioner Holliday expressed three primary concerns regarding the project, as follows: (1) parking fees that may be charged to patrons of the Harris Teeter grocery store, (2) the loading dock management strategy for the Parcel 4 Building, and (3) the proposed configuration and location of the senior affordable housing within the Parcel 4 Building.

Parking fees for grocery store patrons

Ms. Holliday recommends that the Commission include language in the final order that would require Harris Teeter to establish off-street parking fees/policies for its patrons that are consistent with the average of those charged at its NOMA location and other urban groceries located within four miles of the McMillan Site.

The Applicant recommends against this as a condition in the final order as it could severely limit Harris Teeter's ability to establish parking fees/policies that are tailored to the McMillan store location, as noted above, could result in a worse solution for the surrounding community that would otherwise be implemented. For its stores located in the District of Columbia, Harris Teeter relies upon different parking strategies that are based upon unique characteristics of a particular store, including the cost of parking.

Loading Dock Management Strategy

With respect to the Applicant's Revised Loading Management Plan for the Parcel 4 Building, Ms. Holliday states that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has identified a need for more effective loading management to avoid negative impacts on North Capitol Street, and that the proposed modifications to the approved loading and curbside management plan are insufficient to avoid traffic backups on North Capitol Street.

DDOT and the Applicant both testified at the public hearing that an agreeable solution had been arrived at on a revised Loading Management Plan that will minimize the impacts of loading activities associated with the Parcel 4 Building. The Applicant agreed to several additional loading restrictions, including restrictions on all Harris Teeter and residential (move-ins, move-outs, and trash) deliveries and on all backing maneuvers for all other deliveries during the morning peak period between 7:00 am to 8:30 am. These additional restrictions were incorporated into the Applicant's proposed revised Loading Management Plan which is included in the case record as Exhibit 40.

Configuration and Location of Senior Affordable Housing

Ms. Holliday's final concern was the proposed configuration and location of the senior affordable housing within the Parcel 4 Building.

The Applicant responded that the separation of the proposed market-rate units is required in order to comply with the legal requirements of the federal Fair Housing Act exemption to the general rule prohibiting discrimination based on familial status that is afforded to senior housing. The rationale and need for the proposed senior affordable dwelling units to be operated independently from the market-rate dwelling units within the Parcel 4 Building was thoroughly discussed during the Consolidated PUD proceedings, and was further addressed in a post-hearing submission submitted by the Applicant as part of those proceedings.

Z.C. Case #13-14B - Parcel 4, Jair Lynch Development Partners - Modifications to a Previously Approved Consolidated Planned Unit (PUD) Development, Square 3128, Lot 800, moves forward with accommodations to support Harris Teeter's grocery request was approved by a vote of 4-0-0.

Parcel 2 Building, multi-family use dwelling units, has no scheduled hearing date at this time.

DCity Smokehouse has received its DCRA permit and approval for construction at the new location at 1700 2nd St NW street-level

See this Instagram message from DCity Smokehouse:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

at Unified Scene Theater: Our Improv For Business Leaders (Current & Future) now registering

See this 03-30-20156 message:

Our Improv For Business Leaders (Current and Future) Now Registering at The Unified Scene Theater
There are plenty of reasons why people sign up for an improv classes: everything from "I need better 'people skills'" to "I need to do something fun outside of my job." But what if improv skills could actually enhance your job or job skills? What if you could take the fun, joy and life skills experienced with improv and apply these at work every day? The Unified Scene Theater's latest class, Improv for Business Leaders (Present and Future), will teach you to do precisely that. We will address a variety of realities and challenges business professionals face every day using the lens of improv, including

• Public speaking
• Going “off script”
• Teambuilding
• Positive culture
• Listening
• Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
• Creativity
• Body Language
This class, which meets on Tuesdays beginning April 24th (7 p.m. – 9 p.m., April 26th through 31st; five weeks of instruction with a graduation show in week six on May 31st), is designed for anyone who works in a business environment, anyone who wants to work in a business environment, or frankly for anyone who works and deals with others at all. Bring a notebook and an open mind: all egos must be checked at the door. Your instructors? Shawn Westfall and Kathy Baird Westfall, industry-tested Advertising and PR veterans who possess a combined four decades' experience and whose job it is to "win the room" when pitching to and working with Fortune 100 companies.

Want more information? Here you go:

However, you should probably act fast. TUS piloted this class earlier this year and it sold out quickly.

See you on The Scene

Shawn and Kathy
The Unified Scene Theater
80 T Street NW
Washington, DC

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

DC Water First Street Tunnel Community Update, March 29, 2016 -- Abigail challenges

From: Linda Bernhardt []
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 3:33 PM
To: Thomas Lindberg <>
Subject: First Street Tunnel Community Update, March 29, 2016

Greetings First Street Tunnel Stakeholders,
Update on Abigail, micro-tunnel boring machine (MTBM) that is currently mining the Adams Street adit tunnel 

Abigail, the MTBM, has encountered challenging ground conditions under Adams Street, causing SKJD to work, at times, in an emergency mode.  SKJD has notified the permitting authorities as required, and has received permission to proceed with occasional off-hours work to complete critical tasks for safety reasons.  The pipe-jacking operation launch through frozen ground is now complete; this effort proved to be more difficult than expected.  In addition, work crews have encountered high groundwater pressure, requiring some adjustment to the equipment.  Mining is scheduled to resume on Thursday, March 31, 2016.  Changing soil conditions, including moving through sections of clay, require that ground conditions be stabilized as they are encountered.

Please be assured that the public and adjacent buildings are not at risk.

As we move forward, it is important to note that SKJD may need to perform additional nighttime work to complete this task.

We will send out another notice when this work is complete.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call the 24/7 Hotline at 1-844-FST-INFO (1-844-378-4636)Please continue to check our web site for updated project information (

Tom Lindberg, DCCR First Street Tunnel - Public Outreach DC Clean Rivers Project
DC Water 
5000 Overlook Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20032 t (202) 787-4738 
f (202) 787-4478 | Email:
FST web page:

basement unit attempted rear break-in on the unit block of Seaton Place NW on Easter Sunday, 03-27-2016

See this 03-29-2016 message:

The person in the attached photo attempted to break into a basement apartment on the unit block of Seaton Place, NW around 5:15 in the morning this past Easter Sunday, 3/27/2016. He was caught on a security monitoring video which is being shared with DC police. Fortunately the thief did not gain entry in this case.

Please be on the lookout for this individual. He may be responsible for other break-ins and attempted break-ins around the neighborhood.  

El Camino begins serving lunch on Fridays starting this week

From: Mel Gold
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 2:34 PM
Subject: El Camino begins serving lunch on Fridays starting this week

El Camino in Bloomingdale is kicking off April by adding lunch service on Fridays at the restaurant, including outdoor seating to enjoy on beautiful days! The menu will feature tacos, burritos, and a selection of tortas, as well as a limited offering of appetizers including papas fritas, black bean soup, and queso fundido. Vegetarians & vegans will have a wide selection of options, including their wild mushroom tamale and vegetable chilaquiles. 

Lunch will be offered Fridays from 11am - 3pm beginning this Friday, April 1st. I’ve attached a PDF copy of the new menu, and it’s also available online at 



North Capitol Main Street Business & Board Recruitment Event -- Thursday, 04-21-2016

See this event announcement from NCMS Executive Director Demetris Cheatham:

Interested in serving as a NCMS board member -- or perhaps volunteer?  Then you are invited to attend this NCMS recruitment event on Thursday, 04-21-2016.

Here is the link to the NCMS Board application form.  The forms are due on Saturday, 05-07-2016.

2026 North Capitol St NW BZA case decision pushed to Tuesday, 04-05-2016

See these tweets:

- Year old BZA case- will it be decided today? 
9:32 AM - 29 Mar 2016

Bloomingdame@bloomingdame 55 minutes ago
No, it will not be heard today. Rescheduled again for April 5, one day short of year anniversary of filing.
9:51 AM - 29 Mar 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Historic Preservation Education: "owning property in a Historic District"

There have been many questions about being in a designated DC Historic District. 

The info supplied by the Capitol Hill Restoration Society might answer some of the questions raised. 
Here is the link to this info page at the website of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS).

Owning property in the Historic District

If You Own a Building in the Capitol Hill Historic District…
Except for the most routine maintenance and repair, you need to GET A BUILDING PERMIT for any work that is done on the exterior of your building within the Historic District.

When You are Thinking About Exterior Modifications:


  • Replace inappropriate elements that have been added to your building with historically accurate features. Leading candidates for such treatment will be shutters, permastone, aluminum siding, chain link fences in front yards, security iron, front stoops. Unless your house is in Colonial Revival style, cross-and-bible and six-panel front doors are inappropriate; so are most of the six-over-six sash windows on Capitol Hill.
  • Use historically appropriate paint colors on the exterior of your building.
  • Keep unpainted brick unpainted. If you are repainting already painted brick, repaint in the original brick color and use a matte finish paint. In most cases, brick red will be the appropriate color, but brown and tan brick was also used in the neighborhood.
  • Resist the temptation to “improve” original features of your property. “Improvements” to be avoided include bricking over front walks, adding brick to fences, adding shutters where there were none, and removing original fabric.
  • Use smooth faced (grade FBX) brick for any new construction on building facades, with mortar colored to match the brick.
  • Periodic inspections, and maintain your building appropriately and according to the best standards of work.
  • Keep all landscapes features intact, including ovolo or rounded curbs at the sidewalk, fences walks, and front yard grades.
  • Install semi-circular gutters and round downspouts on Victorian-era buildings.
  • Replicate building elements that are seriously deteriorated, using their original materials.
  • Consider repairing your original windows rather than replacing them.

  • Remove any original elements such as porches, porch roofs, or iron front stairs.
  • Sandblast.
  • Paint any previously unpainted elements, especially brick.
  • Change original window sash configuration or shrink door or window openings, if your doors or windows have to be replaced.
  • Install vinyl or aluminum replacement windows.
  • Paint window frames and sashes white, unless your house style is Georgian or Federal Revival.
  • Put siding over brick, permastone over anything, or brick over siding.
  • Use silicone or other non-breathing sealants on brick.
  • Install suburban-looking porch or deck rails.
  • Install six-panel, cross and bible doors, unless your building is Colonial revival style.
  • Be tempted by inappropriate leaded glass “Victorian” doors.
  • Apply roofing tar to your standing seam metal roof.
  • Put up new stockade fences. In most cases, iron “hairpin” fences in front and flat board fences in rear yards will be more appropriate.
  • Cut down or raise the grade when the front yard differs from the sidewalk, or cut through the front yard to a basement entrance.

Energy Efficiency and Old Homes workshop from the DC Preservation League -- Saturday, 04-09-2016

See this tweet with a link:

Note that this DCPL workshop will be held at St. Martin's Catholic Church, Pioneer Room.

Spread the date for the upcoming Energy Efficiency Workshop on 4/9!
11:15 AM - 9 Mar 2016

Energy Efficiency and Old Homes
Saturday, April 9, 2016
1:00pm – 3:00pm
Saint Martin’s Catholic Church
1908 North Capitol Street, NW
7 T Street, NW Entrance

We all want to make our houses more comfortable and efficient. Green technologies offer opportunities to save money while helping to protect our environment and can be implemented without sacrificing the architectural integrity of your home or violating historic district guidelines.
Come learn about energy audits and what home improvements are the most cost effective with particular attention to the issue of window repair and replacement and integrity.
Speakers are Nakita Reed, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, GGP, a managing member of ENCORE Sustainable Design, working to combine historic preservation with energy efficiency and sustainable design; and John Sandor, an architectural historian and expert in the repair and replacement of windows in historic buildings.
This is a FREE event open to the public.
Click Here to let us know you are coming!
In Partnership With
  • Eckington Citizen Association
  • Bloomingdale Civic Association

from the team behind DCity Smokehouse & Wicked Bloom: Revive Live - An Artistic Brunch Celebration -- Sunday, 04-03-2016

See this message from Ashley McPherson:

Revive Events  & Catering is hosting its first public event this Sunday. It's going to be a wonderful Brunch Soiree at the Manor on Connecticut Avenue NW.  Revive Events & Catering is the force behind DCity Smokehouse and Wicked Bloom Social Club.

at Brookland Pint this Thursday, 03-31-2016: DC Paid Family Leave Info Session & Happy Hour

I have been asked to place this event announcement here at the blog by Sade Grey:

I am working on the Paid Family Leave Coalition and we are working to increasing education to the public about this amazing Bill! 

I was wondering if it is possible to repost this event on the Bloomingdale Blog? The event is this Thursday from 6 to 8 pm at Brookland Pint. I've attached a flyer for you.  

Here is the Paid Family Leave Website for your reference: 

36 Rhode Island Avenue NW to be converted into a two-family flat

See this item the DCRA permits review from Washington Business Journal reporter Michael Neibauer:

36 Rhode Island Ave. NW: Conversion of a single-family home into a two-family flat. Work will include the rehab of the existing third floor deck.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Chris Rodousakis: seeking volunteers & block captains for the Saturday, 04-23-2016, Bloomingdale Clean-up!

See this 03-21-2016 message from Chris Rodousakis, Chair of the Bloomingdale Civic Association Beautification Day Committee:

Seeking volunteers and block captains (that's you if you're out weeding and maintaining the majority of your block!) for the Saturday, April 23rd Bloomingdale Clean-Up and other exciting upcoming beautification efforts throughout the year. We live in an amazing neighborhood, but we've been through some rough times in recent years (between flooding, DC Water construction, developers, etc) and our public spaces could use some love!

Let's work together to make permanent improvements so we could be proud of *ALL* of our public spaces again!


Samsara House message: Please read this, see if you feel called to come this time: Explore your own body’s Heart-Way with us next weekend April 2-3

From: Cullen Kowalski []
Sent: Sunday, March 27, 2016 1:06 PM
To: Wake Up <>
Subject: Please read this, see if you feel called to come this time: Explore your own body’s Heart-Way with us next weekend April 2-3

You might have heard people talking about Waking Down in Mutuality or Saniel Bonder.  Well, he and his wife are in town for an exceptional visit, next week, and this is your chance to come meet them and get a taste of what it means to Wake Down and in Mutuality.

If you do not feel called this time to do a deep dive or it's just too cost prohibitive right now, then that's okay too (although there is financial assistance offered below). However, if you can make it Friday night, only $20 is requested to attend so it's an easy way to come sit and see what this whole body awakened consciousness is all about--it's not your average run of the mill non-dual awakening or any other heart work I assure you!  Come check it out.  

To Register for Friday evening only: click here

To Register for the weekend retreat, click button below.
With Love,


Explore your own body’s Heart-Way with us at a regional retreat — Human Sun/Waking Down® regional events now scheduled in Washington DC (next weekend!), Chicago, and Atlanta 

Don't be misled by the names "Human Sun" and "Waking Down." These retreats are not about “teachings,” collections of ideas and concepts out there that may or may not be of interest to you. These retreats are about helping you discover the unique Heart-Way of your own ongoing, whole-body emergence. They are signal lights, helping you like the North Star as you make your journey through this life, this world, this reality that is intrinsically yours and yet also includes everyone and everything other, else, different, and apart. Phrases like “Human Sun” and “Waking Down in Mutuality®” are only intended to help illumine the inconceivably intimate adventure of how you are crystallizing, clarifying, emerging into your unique life and all of your relatedness right now. 

linda_with_group.jpgJoin us and a group of fellow explorers for a weekend in the Washington DC area coming up next week, Chicago in mid-May, or Atlanta in mid-June. We can hardly wait to meet with the group convening in DC (actually Arlington, VA). Such a diverse, dynamic, serious, playful, committed, fierce, talented, heart-full, passionate, intelligent group of practitioners! Even though it’s only a week away, if you feel a somewhat irrational prompt to join us, if your body is telling you that you, it, are supposed to be there, well … let your body be your guide.

Bodies need the life-juices, the Heart-nectar, of what happens when our kind of folks get face to face for extended meetings. With an energizing, sometimes surprising mix of spontaneity and structure, formal consideration and creative expression, these retreats are 
seriously juicy.

Reduced fees: Both early registration and full fees this year are $50 less than last year.

Summary: Human Sun/Waking Down weekend retreats -- in person with Saniel and Linda

·  Washington, DC: April 2-3

·  Chicago: May 14-15

·  Atlanta: June 18-19 

(We’re also in the planning stages for at least one other regional weekend retreat this year which we hope to announce soon.) 

Fee: $325 if purchased up to 1 month before the retreat, $395 afterwards. If you need financial assistance, let us know at; we’ll do our best to work with you. 


five weeks from today: Bloomingdale Farmers Market returns on Sunday, 05-01-2016

Eager for the Bloomingdale Farmers Market for its season opening day on Sunday, 05-01-2016...?

Click on the article link to see the full list of DC farmers markets opening dates.

Here Are the 2016 D.C. Farmers Market Opening Dates

The spring's first peas and asparagus are on their way, which means farmers market season is nearly here. Consult our guide below to each D.C. market's opening date and hours.

1st and R streets NW
Opens May 1, Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.