Thursday, July 28, 2011

Must Read: "The New Face of Anacostia"

and yes, DC gov still needs to step in to save that house

By now I hope most have seen the Washington Post article that came out online yesterday afternoon as well as the shortened cover story in today's Washington Post Express. Titled "The New Face of Anacostia: Black professionals are leading a charge of gentrification across the neighborhood," the article is a refreshing look at the changes taking place here.

Of course, there is a diversity of colors and creeds moving into the neighborhood, but the article picks up on the reality that the majority of the new and upwardly mobile residents of Anacostia, to this point, are black. Does the race thing really matter? Maybe not. But it at least turns the tables on the otherwise typically very "whites movin' in = gentrification" conversation.

Nice to see this article after such an epic NPR fail earlier in the year...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Inspiration: Corner of MLK & Good Hope

This is what I want to see at the newly-empty lot at the corner of MLK and Good Hope. Here are some great examples from around the country:

in Fairbanks, Alaska -- what a cool way to get community input! Photo from this great Fast Company article.

I mean, you can't go wrong. Found this while traveling through Boulder, Colorado.

This is in New Orleans, by Candy Chang, the same artist as the Alaska one. Love it.

How perfectly would this fit in Anacostia? See more details here.

What do you think? Wouldn't this be 100% perfect for the empty lot at the corner of MLK and Good Hope? Set up a couple chalkboards, paint a question or two... would probably cost about 300 bucks. Who's in?

Monday, July 25, 2011

1357 Good Hope Loses the Whitewash

The story of 1357 Good Hope Road continues... not that this is really a dramatic turn. Actually, I think it looks pretty good. The owners, a tech buildout firm that was supposed to relocate to the building from Clarendon, is apparently still deciding if they'll occupy the building or if they want to try to sell it mid-renovation. Not gonna call it a restoration, as it's pretty awkward.

viewed from 14th and Good Hope looking into Historic Anacostia

my favorite side -- I love how how the building just keeps going back

the fan above the side door is the only original window remaining in the building

I mean, could the entrance be any more awkward? Nothing much to get excited about.

Crossing my fingers that someone moves into the building -- at this point I'd almost rather someone else just buy the property in the hopes that maybe they'd try to redignify it a bit.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Future of MLK & Good Hope?

Yes, please. These renderings were produced for the Department of Housing and Community Development (owners of the corner properties at the left of the images below) by UrbanAdvantage through a Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 stimulus grant with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition and HUD.

Click images to Enlarge

Whaddya think? Is this a future you'd like to see?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Facade & Mural Coming Down at MLK/GH

Well, that was quick. Due to a dangerously sagging facade, the new wood-block mural at MLK and Good Hope, along with what remained of the art deco facade of the old Peoples Drug are being torn down.

The corner in 1949:

the flourishing days of not-so-long-ago Anacostia...image from Historical Society of Washington, DC

Then in 2009:

when a truck bashed through the now-abandoned lot...

And in 2011:

see the Gateway to Ward 8 mural in the background...

And this afternoon:

notice the wood block in the by @ruseriousingme

photo by @TheAdvoc8te

The above photos definitely show the mural being dismantled. I really hope that they take away all the debris rather than just backfill it into the hole. More updates as I get them...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tonight - St. Elizabeths East Planning Meeting

The Office of Planning and Department of Transportation are jointly sponsoring a series of public meetings for the St. Elizabeths East Campus.

This second meeting is to present a range of concepts for the East Campus roads and phase one development based on feedback from the May 2011 public meeting and the 2008 Framework Plan.

When: Tonight, July 14, 2011 from 7 - 9 p.m.

Where: Imagine Southeast Public Charter School
3100 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE

Check to stay updated with all the latest.

Tonight - Artist Talk at Vivid Solutions

Come on down to the Gallery at Vivid Solutions tonight from 6:30 to 8:30ish to listen to artists Ayodamola Okunseinde and Yulia Graham talk about their DOCUMENTS show. It's also Ayo's birthday, so there will be cupcakes!

About the exhibition:

DOCUMENTS: alternative guide to DC underground is a collaborative project between Ayodamola Okunseinde and Yulia Graham investigating subjects of identity through photographic and physically interactive portraits. Based on the likenesses of artists from the DC metro area, the objective of this project is to chronicle connections between artists, their environment, personalities and work through portraiture.

The pieces in DOCUMENTS range from black & white digital prints to installations where the audience in directed to play a part in the presentation of the portraits. The collective works of the project also serves as a selected educational archive of the DC underground art scene in recent years.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cedar Hill Residential Aiming for Fall Start

Didn't think I was allowed to post these renderings yet since they're not 100% final - but now that Urban Turf has, I'll go ahead and do so. As you know, Four Points and Comstock homes have partnered up to build 32 duplex-style condos, seven three-bedroom townhomes, and one re-built "historic" single family house on the big now-empty lot at the corner of W Street and 13th, just a half block up from Uniontown Bar & Grill.

view looking up W Street towards 13th Street

the interior of the block will have a bit more contemporary styling

you can see that one condo/townhouse will be located on V Street

Although these renderings aren't 100% final -- the developers hope to present to the Historic Preservation Review Board in September -- they are a pretty good representation of what will be built at the site. New multifamily residential in Anacostia ... Finally!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Denver's Big Chair

Found this awesome big red chair + pinto horse in downtown Denver. How does it compare to Anacostia's own landmark chair?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Responses to Anacostia Streetcar Meeting

Here are two great response articles to this week's Anacostia Streetcar meeting:

Substantive Streetcar Discussion! Is Anacostia Done Saying ‘No’?
Washington City Paper
"The District Department of Transportation has has whittled down its original ten options for the Anacostia streetcar line to a more manageable four since its last public meeting in the neighborhood—and may have tamped down some of the skepticism east of the river as well."
DDOT gets closer to an Anacostia streetcar alignment
Greater Greater Washington
"Last night's meeting was more productive than the March meeting because residents were able to talk with DDOT staff and examine the options more closely. In March, residents discussed the options in small groups, then presented to the whole room. It was a good opportunity for dialogue, but also gave some opponents an opportunity to grandstand against the project.

The next stage in the planning process is to develop a locally preferred alternative, which DDOT hopes to do by late fall. There is a "no-build" alternative which maintains existing transportation options. DDOT would then reallocate funds for the project to other areas."
As much as we're all a little worn down by the process, I'm glad to see the city give some new options -- and think that the alternative that brings the line on both MLK and Shannon will have the best impact on the neighborhood.