Wednesday, December 31, 2008

1918 13th Goes Office

The Board of Zoning Appeals met on December 9th to recommend that 1918 13th Street be allowed to change from residential to office use. I couldn't make the public hearing, and I'm not against this change. However, as a low-density neighborhood it is important that we retain and add as much residential as possible. Does a live/work zoning category exist? If so, maybe that would have been most appropriate.
The applicant has requested zoning relief to convert a single-family residential building at 1918 13th Street, SE for use as an office. The property is 2,160 square feet in size and is improved with a vacant semi-detached house. The applicant completed renovations on the building in 2007. No additional construction is proposed or needed to facilitate the requested change in use.

The applicant currently operates an office for his construction business about a block away at 1111 Good Hope Road. The applicant hopes to relocate this office to the subject property, as the existing office location is intended to be redeveloped.
this paragraph caught my attention, as it is further proof that we need to return 13th Street to a two-way road, as well as add stop signs along its length so that its on-ramp appeal is lost:
In this location, 13th Street, SE is a oneway, three-lane street with no onstreet parking and serves as a primary westbound entrance for the 11th Street Bridge.
All in all, this is a fine zoning change. A restored building, an office user who is choosing to stay in the neighborhood, and a glimmer of hope for more development at the Gateway.

Does this mean that there is progress being made at Anacostia Square, or that property owners on the 1100 block of Good Hope are finally giving in to both development and eminent domain pressure? Let's hope so.

these signs give the bare details

Click Here for PDF of the Office of Planning's report

photo by DG-rad

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

ground broken for the new library

where the front steps will be, the before picture

ground was broken last week on the new Anacostia Neighborhood Library on Good Hope Road, and the word from the top is that it should open in Spring of 2010. Here's to hoping that some real progress gets underway soon!

Reminder: this was the original "final" design:

clean lines, bold tower

and here is the more busy / less appealing design they surprised us with more recently:

distracting signage, minimized tower, less bold

if, like me, you'd like to see the beacon "tower of light" regain its prominence, the design get back its clean lines, and a flag to be raised saying that our community really cares about this new neighborhood asset, please send an email to the team by Clicking Here. (customize as you wish, and don't forget to fill in your name at the bottom)

We only have one chance to get this right.

photo by DG-rad

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

classy Christmas porch

the candy cane columns are a nice touch. As is the exterior restoration, paid for by the DC Government. Grant Applications Due January 5.

sweet shot - just across the 11th Street Bridge

this is pretty great for a few reasons:

1. it is a fantastic shot of winter. this photo is cold.

2. because the capture isn't my own, i see the scene for what it is - this intersection still looks windswept and relatively uncared for, even though I've become used to seeing it this way. i mean, why do we have a boarded-up and crumbling hole as the welcome mat to Historic Anacostia? we can't get used to this stuff or it won't change.

3. the corner highlight serves as a good reminder that we still have a ways to go, and a front and center opportunity right here to change first impressions for the so much better.

the photo, My place of birth, by Flickr user marques_haven

Sunday, December 21, 2008


14th Street SE, at the heart of historic anacostia

Why Fix a Broken Window, by River East Idealist
personalizing the broken windows theory in DC's River East, and the importance of aesthetics for the way our places are perceived

DC welcomes its first legal Dog Park, via the Examiner
and every corner of the city has applied for them, except in Wards 7 and 8. Is this something we want?
If so, Click Here for more info on how to get one

Artomatic 2009 is headed to the Ballpark District, via JDLand
DC's multimedia art fest / crazy cool mega-gallery will anchor just across the river from our hood in one of the bourgeoning Navy Yard area's empty office buildings

Want a fresh coat of paint, a new front porch, restored windows, or a total exterior home makeover?
Historic Homeowners Grant applications are due January 5th. Email me if you want pictures or help with the application

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

FiOS coming to Historic Anacostia

not that this is the end all, be all of awesomeness, but last night the DC Council approved legislation to bring Verizon FiOS to the entire city over the next nine years.

Nine years?!

OK, here's the good part: a select few neighborhoods will begin getting the fiber optic cable television and internet services by the end of 2009, including Barry Farm, Fort Stanton, and Historic Anacostia.

graphic courtesy of

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Frager's Hardware: also where it's at

I profiled Community Forklift a while back, which is a great resource for building materials new, old, and outa-control affordable. But let me tell you, Frager's Hardware -just across the 11th Street Bridge- has everything you could ever need in the "buy it new or rent it" home improvement category.

there is something ridiculously refreshing about shopping locally (and leaving completely satisfied)

If, like me, you are sick of even the thought of trips to nightmare NE Home Depot or the Alexandria Lowe's, Frager's is the perfect alternative. It may not be the size of seven city blocks (although it does take up about half a block of storefronts), but what it lacks in square feet it more than makes up for in personal service, people that actually know what you need and know exactly where it is, and the total convenience of being just two minutes from Anacostia.

the paint store is right at the corner, and even has a Color Consultant

Frager's is made up of four departments: hardware & home goods; landscaping; rentals (trust me, they have it); and paint, and can be found at the corner of 10th and Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

photos by DG-rad

Sunday, December 14, 2008

the purple house

i'm a big fan of colorful houses, so am glad to add "the purple house" to the anacostia repertoire.


kinda dumpy looking, but with a certain charm


the porch re-build

off with the old imitation-brick shingle siding, in with the old(er) wooden clapboard


new porch, new paint, new outlook on life

and i'm holding off on a full profile of the house to the right until it's totally done, but clearly it is looking mighty swell.

(yet another example of the power of the Historic Homeowners Grant Program. Deadline to apply is January 5 ~ and hey, knock on your neighbor's door and help them get it done, too!)

funky and fresh, curly numbers edition

yes, that is a wooden parrot hanging from the porch.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


thanks to all who sent emails and came to the meeting. the general vibe was of support for preservation, as long as it does not completely inhibit development of the building. Commissioner Fuller's support for creative preservation over demolition will certainly help the anacostia cause.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

1357 Good Hope Needs Your Help

For my detailed post on this endangered building, Click Here

Historic Anacostia's ANC Commissioner Greta Fuller is requesting public opinion on the preservation of 1357 Good Hope before voicing her support in the matter. She is hosting a meeting tonight to discuss whether to add the building to the existing Historic District, to designate it as a landmark, or to allow for its demolition.

Clearly the building isn't a grand civic structure or a ridiculously unique work of architecture. Instead, it is a beacon of the Historic District at 14th Street, one of the primary gateways into the neighborhood; it is the last existing building of an Anacostia architect; and it does not need to be demolished in order for development of the adjacent lots to take place.

Think of the neighborhoods that have the most charm: they are the ones with old buildings, good craftsmanship, and are built to a human scale. Friends, development will happen in Anacostia. It's our responsibility to make sure it is done right, and destroying the few examples of commercial architecture will only serve to make our neighborhood a less interesting and desirable place to live, work, and play.

Click Here to email your support of 1357 Good Hope to Commissioner Fuller

Tonight's meeting:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 6:30 P.M.
UPO - Anacostia
1649 Good Hope Rd SE
photo by DG-rad

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bury Building to get Makeover

in March I posted on this building at 2200 MLK, and asked that a reader please restore it to its original grandeur. Well, that is exactly what's happening. Thanks to the help of $1.1 million in TIF financing from the city, developer Four Points LLC will give the building a total back-to-the-future makeover:

then, July 4th circa 1919:

I wish the building next door still had its crown


I will be glad to see this mural go

future, 2009-2010:

drawing not entirely to scale

loving the restored windows and doors

old photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, new ones by DG-rad, and renderings courtesy of Four Points, LLC

Friday, December 5, 2008

do-on't stop, belie-ieving

just a little clapboard restoration to get the morning started:

...It goes on and on and on and on...

photo by DG-rad