Friday, August 29, 2008


unbeknownst to me (so there was no vote-prodding here), the washington business journal had a poll asking which one of its "Next Hot Spots" from last week is actually going to be the next hot spot. I mean, only one spot can be next...

Well, unsurprisingly our fair Anacostia won by a large margin, with 32% of the 784 total votes. Nice.

graphic courtesy of the washington business journal

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Anacostia High School in 1939

Some great photos courtesy of the National Photo Company Collection:

dang they are good ..and why are the guys wearing those uniforms?

Are there still shop classes in DC Public Schools?

I guarantee you those awesome doors have been replaced with prison-esque metal ones

One commenter on Shorpy referenced this amazing find:
"Anacostia, the future haven of beauty, will in the next fifty years be the most popular community in the entire District of Columbia....In the course of time this southeast portion of the city will be 'The Spot.' There will be perfect living conditions here and only time will tell when it will be necessary to spread out farther in all directions to let the mass pour in."
—Charles Hamman, "The Anacostia of Tomorrow," from a 1938 class project for Miss Agnes Tweedie, Anacostia High School

Of course, that wasn't such a crazy notion back then, before the highway was built separating Anacostia from its greatest asset and DC shortsightedly built a large portion of its public housing stock in the surrounding neighborhoods. We're getting back on track now, but man did mid-20th century planning really hurt the neighborhood.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

another blue sky ceiling

although the color on this one is a bit more restoration hardware-ish.

this is, by the way, turning into one of my favorite houses in anacostia (soon every house will be) courtesy of the Historic Homeowners Grant Program, which is literally transforming the neighborhood.

gotta love that column supporting air. and the wraparound porch is beyond belief fantastic.

PS - the latest grant program deadline has been extended to September 1.
Click Here for an application! (PDF)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

front porch vogue

loving the southern style light-blue painted porch ceiling:

check out last week's Post article on blue-painted porch ceilings:
These Homeowners are Happy to Have the Blues

Next Hot Spot: Anacostia

The Washington Business Journal is pretty great about covering Anacostia - at least with a usually more well-rounded approach than do the Post and other local news outlets.

Click to Enlarge

An article titled "The Hunt for the Next Hot Spots" (OnSite, Fall 2008) highlights Anacostia as one neighborhood destined for the kind of rebirth that Dupont Circle, Clarendon, and Logan Circle have seen, and cites certain ingredients (above), that give it a solid upper-hand.

Although I can't reprint the entire article here, the author did a great job articulating the desire of Generation X and Y to live in places with potential for a greater work/life balance: where getting in the car isn't the solution for every errand and density is seen generally as a positive.

Most of the section about Anacostia focused on Four Points LLC's plans for the new downtown, where developer Stan Voudrie and team are expecting to build 1.6 million square feet of mixed-use development along Shannon Place and MLK Ave. Although no ground has been broken and plans are still not set, Voudrie extols the benefits of the kind of development he will bring to the neighborhood: easy access to Metro, easy access to thousands of drivers on neighboring highways, views of the monumental core at discounted rates, and a crime rate significantly lower than, say, Adams Morgan.

Although the information isn't new, it is a great reinforcement to the not-so-crazy notion that Anacostia really has a lot going for it, and its rebirth as not so far-fetched an idea as many are accustomed to believe.

For full article, Click Here

clippings courtesy of the WBJ: OnSite Fall 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wards 7 & 8 Candidates Forum Tonight

The DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence is hosting a Town Hall this evening for Ward 7 & 8 council candidates to talk about domestic violence. Clearly this is a very important topic for every jurisdiction, and considering the wide range of personalities running in these races, it will be interesting to hear what each has to say.

Friday, August 15, 2008

sweet twin houses, take 7

I love the raw planks, especially up against the red house -- although not sure if the unpainted-ness is a permanent thing.

photo by DG-rad

Historic Anacostia Walking Tour Tomorrow!

Main Street Anacostia is hosting another walking tour tomorrow, August 16, at 10 AM. These are a great way for people both inside and outside of the community to learn more about our great neighborhood.

From the MSA website:
The tour travels along the historic routes of Anacostia giving participants the opportunity to see and learn about various landmarks in the historically-rich neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River. Tour stops include Rosie’s Row, Frederick Douglass home, Old Carver Theatre, the “Big Chair”, and a host of others.

The walking tours will be held every third Saturday at 10am through October 2008. The tour begins and ends at the Anacostia Metro Station (green line). Donations are appreciated.
Remaining 2008 Tour Dates: August 16, September 20, October 18

To Make Reservations: call 202-889-5090

photo for graphic courtesy of flickr user stgermh

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Do you like abandoned properties?

such as this,


or this:

...Then clearly your vote should be for Marion Barry.

If you want real improvement and meaningful change in Anacostia and around our ward, then vote for Charles Wilson in the September 9 Democratic Primary.

Through Charles' dedication to the community, 53 homeowners (so far) have received grants to fix up their houses. Stuff like that shows that he actually cares about Ward 8.

You've seen the "Charles" signs around the area ...maybe you even have one in your yard or storefront.
Spread the word. Vote progress. Vote Charles.

For more, check out:
The Barry Stops Here
a blog about stopping the Barry machine

Ward 8 Election Watch
Eight for Ward 8 (scroll down)
East of the River's candidate rundowns
photos by DG-rad

1438 V Street Update

Remember that amazingly sweet house on V Street? Well, it went under contract within a week or two from when it was put on the market.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Savoy School Gutted

hopefully soon will live up to its slogan

Savoy Elementary is well under construction, which is a pretty exciting thing after seeing its prison-like presence in such a prominent location for so long.

From a 2006 update (PDF):
The modernization will ensure the facility is right sized to meet its enrollment, but with room to grow, should this be needed to support the neighborhood development and change in Anacostia.

Regarding goals of the District, the Savoy Modernization and Co-location project implements priorities to co-locate and share public land and space among other public entities. The project provides physical education, athletic, health and fitness space to the students of the Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter School, as well as those at Savoy Elementary School. In addition, the Department of Recreation, which has operated after school and youth programming at Savoy for many years, will operate expanded programs from the new shared use gymnasium facility.

Finally, as a part of Main Street growth and development, there will be approximately 6,400 square feet of space available on the second floor of the health and fitness areas on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd that will be available for commercial use. This will provide DCPS with income that can support the maintenance and operations of the facility. In addition, there will be store fronts on MLK, Jr Blvd. These are designed to support museum, art or retail displays in support of culture, education and business on the main street.




entrance at MLK:

photos and graphic by DG-rad

Monday, August 4, 2008

another grant recipient

Woohoo! This will be a common posting theme in the next few months as a bunch of historic homeowner grants start turning into actual work.

This white house (will it remain white?) on 15th Street, one of about 5 houses in Anacostia built in the more vertical rowhouse style (anyone know the actual name of this architectural style?), is definitely going to be an exciting one to watch.



For information on the Historic Homeowners Grant Program, Click Here

photos by DG-rad

Rita's Coming to Good Hope

Crossing my fingers that they will do something about the rather haphazard-looking cinder-block front facade, but regardless of physical improvements I'm hugely excited for the Rita's water ice shop coming to 1410 Good Hope Rd.

no word yet on when this might open (the website just says "coming soon"), but it sure would be nice in these summer heat waves.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Anacostia Gateway Move-in Delayed

Dang, and I was really looking forward to having Anacostia Gateway filled with daytime tenants! I spoke with someone over at the Department of Housing and Community Development to check in on their exact move-in date, since it was reported that the move would happen in August. Expecting to hear something along the lines of "in the next two weeks", I was disappointed to hear that the move was since delayed until October, then aparently delayed again until next year.

Not good news, but really just hoping that they are still planning to come. We need that foot traffic.