Friday, October 25, 2013

Demolition of Historic Carriage House in Blagden Alley (Gang of Three Project)

I regret to report that we have lost another original historic carriage house in Blagden Alley, square 368.  This building was to be part of the Gang of 3 Project by Douglas Development.

I reached out to Douglas Development for an explanation and received the following in reply:

"The existing condition of the carriage house and our proposal for construction are listed in the HPO staff report dated 25April13 - attached is the report for your reference.  The west wall was not only bowing out towards the alley but the north wall was pushing into Bell Architect’s (1228) garage.  Our architect has been working diligently with our General Constractor, Sigal Construction, in preserving and rebuilding the garage as part of the final approval for the project.  The project’s approved scope included fixing the structural damage on the west wall and cutting large openings on the south and west walls.  While this work was carefully being done, the remaining walls were in such unstable condition (significant deterioration of the mortar) the garage became an unsafe structure and demoing by hand was an immediate response.  Sigal has also documented the garage, salvaged the bricks and terra cotta coping for replication purposes.  We are working with HPO staff and will have a follow-up discussion with the ANC in the coming weeks.

Both Sigal and Douglas Development have years of expertise in historic rehabilitation and restoration throughout the District and there have been many instances in which we had to re-build significant portions of carriage homes and rowhomes.  On each historic renovation our goal is to preserve as much of the original buildings as possible, and we pursue each project on a case by case basis.  However, some structures are in such disrepair re-building may be the best option in order to withstand time and weather elements, protect immediate neighbor’s property and endure the structural impact of new construction.   We did not anticipate the extent of deterioration and fragility and had to react quickly in the field in order to prevent the walls from collapsing into the alley or onto the neighbor’s building.  Please understand our construction team has thoroughly documented and preserved the original building materials and have been working hard to preserve as much of the Gang of Three as possible.  "

There intent is to recreate the facade using the original materials.  My primary complaint here is this had to be discovered by walking through the alley, not by some notification from either the Developer or HPRB.  I will raise this latter issue at the ANC level to ensure we once again communicate to HPRB that we expect to be consulted on this type of matter (we weren't consulted either on the major alterations to the facade of the carriage house where La Columbine is going).

Douglas assures me that the end product will not be any different from what we saw before.  They have otherwise been the most responsive of any of the local develops in consulting us and keeping us informed.

Here is a pic of the finished product, the carriage house is the property on the left:
Also here is a view of the entire project from the Blagden Alley side: has some picture of the carriage house that was demolished for those that want to see what it looked like, although as you can see above the original building was to be incorporated into the original project anyway and would not have been visible at the end of the development other than the alley facing facade.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nov 5th opening of expanded Long View Gallery

You may have noticed that the Long View Gallery has expanded to the full width of the building on 9th Street.  The opening below will be the grand opening to the larger space.

RSVP to or at the facebook event page

Monday, October 21, 2013

The American Restaurant in Blagden Alley (location currently used as a boxing gym and rent a wreck parking lot)

This blog post is intended to bring everyone up to speed on what is happening with the new restaurant. I know there are some people opposed to it and some incorrect information is being circulated.

Xavier Cavera is a well establish restauranteur who has opened many restaurants on Capital Hill including the Chesapeake Room, Box Car and Hawk & Dove.  Most of these locations are in C2A properties immediately adjacent to or backing up to residentially zoned property.  From what I can determine most are quite happy with what they have gotten.  This is intended to be an affordable reasonably priced restaurant - something similar to the Box Car where you can have something to eat and a beer for under $20.  Please note also that Xavier is buying one of the new townhouses (1321 Naylor Court) so we will have him as a neighbor.

He has proposed to develop a new restaurant in what is now the Boxing Gym in Blagden Alley and the Rent a Wreck parking lot behind it.  This property has a a strange 1209-1211 10th Street Address as alley lots often do but legally it is Square 368, lots 101-105 and 112-116.  In the zoning order link below you will see a picture of the alley and its lots.  I also suggest that you go to David's blog - - when you get there go to the header at the top of the page called "Planned Construction in Blagden Alley" for a nice picture of the alley showing all the current developments either underway or in the planning stage.   You can be assured there is more to come.

They will not be tearing down the building.  It will be renovated retaining the existing structure but adding insulation, all new systems, door, windows, etc.  If you visit any of the Xavier developed restaurants on Capital Hill you will see that he does a very high quality job and we can expect the same in Blagden Alley.  There may or may not be an addition that is not yet known.  Note that the current structure is about 30' deep by 60' long for a total of 1800 square feet.  He also intends to establish a garden dining area on what is currently the parking lot for the car rental business behind the boxing gym - this lot is about the same size as the existing Boxing Gym Building.  Both inside and outside are specified as having about 75 seats each. For comparison Thalley which just opened at 1316 9th Street occupies about 2400 square feet but only seats about 50 or so.  Baby Wale that just opened is about 3000 square feet plus another 1000 square ft in a mezzanine and seats about 150 people.

The hours of the restaurant are: Inside will close at 1AM Sunday through Thursday and 2AM on Friday and Saturday.  The outside dining area (when open) will close at 11PM Sunday through Thursday with last call at 10:30 PM and 1AM Saturday and Sunday with last call at 12:30 AM.  These hours were approved in a 5-0 vote at the ANC 2F Alcohol Policy Committee last month and closely follow the standard the ANC has been negotiating with other bars and restaurants.  To that the Xavier has agreed to a long list of accommodations to include: Hand truck deliver of supplies, acoustic insulation for the building, HVAC, exhaust unit and fencing, placement of the exhaust to minimize impact on local residents, the dumpster will be located within the property, he will discourage any smoking outside the property and provide a smoking area within the garden area, he will actively work to discourage noise from patrons entering and leaving the property.  Please note that the protest period has passed, yet he will still sign and agree to all these provisions.

I support the restaurant with the restrictions in the settlement agreement.  Note I am both the President of Blagden Alley Naylor Court Association and the ANC 2F06 Commissioner and make this decision with full knowledge from my experience in these roles over the years.  True there will be more life in Blagden Alley and it will active later in the evening than it is now but the court is zoned commercial the same as say the new Baby Wale on 9th street. Change is coming everywhere with 200 new residential units being built on square 368 alone in the next year or two (along with multiple commercial spaces), the Gang of Three by Douglas Development which plans another restaurant fronting on Blagden Alley, the Marriott opening with 1150 rooms and to follow 2 more hotels and an apartment building on the 900 block of L Street, 550 units in the New Giant project, a ten story residential building on M between 10th and 11th, another 10 story residential building with ground level retail at 9th and O, it just goes on and on.  Standing in the way of this progress, when it is the first affordable new restaurant to come in our area, from a top quality restauranteur who has a number of successful restaurants on Capital Hill, seems a bit unrealistic (plus he will be living in one of the new townhouses in Naylor Court so you won't have far to go to complain).  

Some are suggesting that this use is not appropriate for Blagden Alley.  I regret to say that this is a futile position to take.  While there is much debate and discussion of all the testimony from Office of Planning, the Neighborhood petitioners, BANCA, the Blagden Alley Naylor Court Historical Society, ANC 2F, some specific individuals back in 1994,  if you read the actual decision on pages 8-10, Square 368, lots 101-105 and 112-116, were rezoned in 1996 from R4 to C2A without any restriction along with the rest of the alley.   Even further the order clearly states that zoning is not going to put in place any covenants on any of the properties.  The full txt is at the following link and be sure to scroll down to the end so the map of the alley showing the commercial vs residential areas are shown.

Feel free to contact me if you have further questions.

Note both the ABRA Committee (which will address the Mood Lounge application) and Community Development Committee will meet on Wednesday night 23 Oct

First here is the Alcohol Policy Committee Meeting Agenda Wed Oct 23 7PM at the Thomas House 1330 Mass Avenue.  Note that Vita Restaurant and Lounge (Penthouse 9 upstairs) are on the Agenda (formerly Mood Lounge)  - Community Development Committee Meeting is down below

ANC 2F APC Meeting Agenda for October 23, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 7:00 PM
The Residences at Thomas Circle (Meeting Room)*
1330 Massachusetts Ave, NW
*Please note this meeting is taking place at the Residences at Thomas Circle, NOT at the Washington Plaza hotel.
  • Meeting Agenda
  • Approval of Agenda
  • 1435 P St, NW (Number Nine)
  • 1610 14th St, NW (Ghibellina)
  • 1415 P St, NW (Vegas Lounge)
  • 1318 19th St, NW (Vita Restaurant)
  • 1301 K St, NW (Capitale)
  • 1336 14th St, NW (Ghana Cafe)
  • 1333 14th St, NW Glass House Coffee
NOTICE:  This agenda provided by ANC 2F in advance of its public meetings contains matters that are expected to come before the Committee.  It is, however, subject to formal adoption by the Committee at the meeting, which may result in additions or deletions to the draft. Individuals who may have official business before the Committee or persons with interests in specific matters are advised to contact the Executive Director or a Commissioner in advance of the meeting. See for contact information.

ANC 2F CDC Meeting Agenda for October 23, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 7:00 PM
The Washington Plaza Hotel
10 Thomas Circle, NW
  • Approval of Meeting Agenda
  • Approval of August 28, 2103 Meeting Minutes
  • Approval of September 25, 2013 Meeting Minutes
  • 1101 Rhode Island Ave, NW, BZA request for area variance and special exception
  • Discussion of visitor parking options for ANC 2F
  • Discussion of potential removal of WMATA bus stop on west side of 14th St, NW south of Rhode Island Avenue, NW
NOTICE:  This agenda provided by ANC 2F in advance of its public meetings contains matters that are expected to come before the Committee.  It is, however, subject to formal adoption by the Committee at the meeting, which may result in additions or deletions to the draft. Individuals who may have official business before the Committee or persons with interests in specific matters are advised to contact the Executive Director or a Commissioner in advance of the meeting. See for contact information.

New Day Care Center and Spanish Immersion Program in our neighborhood


We provide care for children ages 3 months to 4 years and we offer a curriculum exclusively designed to teach Spanish to toddlers and young children!
Please visit for more information and email us at to schedule a tour of our facility.
Directed by Ms. Silvina Hopkins, child psychotherapist with eighteen years of experience in working with children and their families.

Note this is located at 900 Mass Avenue just down the street.

This is from a request to run an ad on the blog, which we don't take.  With the number of young children in the neighborhood thought it best to share the information.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Upcoming Meetings & Events for the Blagden Alley Naylor Court Association

**Next Meeting is Thursday 17 Oct @ 7PM
Location: Mark & Cary's Home  at 1319 Naylor Court NW (also the office of E/L Studios Architecture)

Police Report
Update from on neighborhood Reatig Projects
Strict Parking Enforcement in Blagden Alley (Naylor Court?)
Update on Naylor Court Construction
Mood/Vita/Penthouse 9 ABRA License Renewal
Picnic Recap
ANC 2F Happenings
Update on the Morrison Clark Renovation (based on my visit with RB Properties)
New Business

**The November Meeting with be Thursday night 21 November @ 7PM
Location: Jim and Brad's Home at 1252 10th Street NW
We will have a shorter business meeting and then convert to a social event featuring:

One of our neighbors, James Browne owns a vineyard in Santa Cruz CA and has graciously offered to have a wine tasting for the neighborhood.  His vineyard is called Split Rail and is available from the following website:  Some of you got a chance to try his Chardonnay at the picnic last month.
We may see if we can get another winery or liquor store to also provide a wine tasting.

**10th Street Community Park Movie Night Saturday Oct 19.  Claim your space at 6:30 PM the movie Starts at 7PM.  The movie is "BACK to the FUTURE"  This is the little pocket park on 10th Street between M&L.

ANC 2F "Rat" Summit Thursday 17 Oct @ Washington Plaza


ANC 2F serves Logan Circle, Thomas Circle, Old City, Blagden Alley, Franklin Square, and parts of Shaw and Downtown.

ANC 2F has been redistricted as of 2013. Click here to see the update map (PDF) orhere to see an interactive version to find your commissioner.

ANC 2F Rodent and Sanitation Education, Training, and Awareness Summit

Dear ANC 2F Residents and Business Owners:

Our neighborhood is more vibrant than ever with population growth and many new businesses attracting visitors and tourists.  Logan Circle is a tremendous success story, but with progress comes new problems.  One that we’re increasingly hearing about is the rodent population.

To proactively and collaboratively address this issue, the ANC 2F Alcohol Policy Committee invites you to attend the Rodent & Sanitation Education, Training and Awareness Summit on Thursday, October 17th at7:00 p.m. at the Washington Plaza Hotel.

Representatives from the DC Department of Health, Department of Public Works, and Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) will make presentations, followed by a Q&A and action planning session.  The tentative agenda is below: 
  1. DOH Public Service DVD - 8 min
  2. Community Hygiene Program Overview - DOH 15 min
  3. Trash Compactors - 5 min
  4. DPW SWEEP/Enforcement - 10 minutes
  5. ABRA Complaint Process - 5 minutes
  6. Q&A/Action Planning - 45 minutes
DCist, the Washington Post, and Newschannel 8 have already covered the Summit.  We hope that you or a representative will make it a priority to attend this event.  Partnering and planning as a community can help us improve results as we tackle this problem.
Copyright © 2013 by ANC 2F, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
5 Thomas Circle, NW
Washington, D.C.  20005

Phone: (202) 642-3168
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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

ANC 2F Meeting Wednesday night special 6:30 PM start time Washington Plaza Hotel

To respond to the recent shooting and tasing incidents in the neighborhood, the meeting will start at 6:30PM with Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, Chief of Police Cathy Lanier and Third District Police Commander Kishter

Cathy Lanier, Chief of Police, and Jacob Kishter, Third District Commander, have confirmed their attendance at the upcoming ANC 2F meeting on Wednesday, October 2, 2013. Lanier and Kishter will join Councilmember Jack Evans (Ward 2) in leading a community discussion about the recent rash of gun violence in parts of ANC 2F.

MPD is expected to provide updates on the incidents in question, as well as discuss current prevention efforts. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle, NW). There will be limited seating.

Here is the full agenda:

ANC 2F Meeting Agenda for October 2, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 6:30 PM*
Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle, NW)

*Please note that this meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.—half an hour earlier than the usual 7:00 p.m. start time for regular monthly public meetings—in order to provide for a community discussion on recent gun violence led by Councilmember Jack Evans (Ward 2).

Call to order at 6:30 p.m.

Special Session: Community Discussion on Recent Gun Violence, 6:30 – 7:00 p.m.
    • Community discussion on recent gun violence led by Councilmember Jack Evans (Ward 2)
    • Report from Police Chief Cathy Lanier, and Third District Commander Jacob Kishter
Regular Monthly Forum, 7:00 p.m.
    • Commissioner Announcements
    • Report from Executive Office of the Mayor
    • Report from Office of Jack Evans, City Councilmember, Ward 2
    • Special announcement from Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development: revitalization of historic Franklin School
    • Community Announcements
  • Approval of Agenda
  • Approval of Minutes for September 9, 2013 Regular Monthly Public Meeting
Committee Reports
 ABRA (John Fanning, Chair)
    • 920 14th St, NW (Park Place), petition to terminate current Settlement Agreement
    • 1333 14th street, NW (Glass House Coffee, LLC), ABRA #93244 application for class CT-02 license
    • 1209 – 1213 10th Street, NW / Blagden Alley (the American), ABRA #09276 request for operation of hours
 Community Development Committee (Walt Cain, Chair)
    • 1101 Rhode Island Ave, NW, BZA request for area variance and special exception
    • 1628 11th Street, NW, BZA Case #18660, request for parking variance, side yard variance, area variance, and special exception for roof structure
    • 1601 14th St, NW (Le Diplomate restaurant), DDOT Public Space committee, request for temporary/seasonal enclosure
Crime and Public Safety Committee (Chris Linn, Chair)
    • Fall Crime Awareness and Prevention event on Oct. 19, 2013
    • Update
Education Committee (Matt Connolly and Evelyn Boyd Simmons, Co-Chairs)
    • Update
Old Business
New Business
  • 1628-1632 11th Street, NW, BZA Case #18660, request for area variance and special exception
  • 1209-1213 10th St, NW / Blagden Alley (The American), petition for hours of operation
  • 1333 14th Street, NW (Glass House Coffee), ABRA application for a license under the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Act
  • 1336 14th Street, NW (Ghana CafĂ©), protest of entertainment endorsement
  • Appointment of David Feinstein to Community Development Committee
Treasurer’s Report
  • Approval of Expenditures
  • Update

NOTICE: This agenda provided by ANC 2F in advance of its public meetings contains matters that are expected to come before the Committee.  It is, however, subject to formal adoption by the Committee at the meeting, which may result in additions or deletions to the draft. Individuals who may have official business before the Committee or persons with interests in specific matters are advised to contact the Executive Director or a Commissioner in advance of the meeting. See for contact information.

Convention Center Art Tour Tonight 1 October 6:30 PM

The Walter E. Washington Convention Center presents quarterly free public art tours featuring Regional and internationally recognized artists
WHAT:                 The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is home to the best kept secret in the nation’s capital – “Art at the Center,” free curator-led art tours. The diverse $4 million art collection is the largest in any convention center and the largest public art collection in the District outside of a museum with more than 130 works of art.  With works of art by both local and international artists, the collection of site-specific sculpture, painting and photography brings a sense of human scale to the Convention Interior Art Collection (2)Center.
COLLECTION: Highlights include
-       Washington, DC’s sculpture Jim Sanborn – Lingua “Spoken Work” (2003)
-       West Coast political artist and photographer, Carrie Mae Weems – “The Armstrong Triptych with Bugle Boys” (2002)
-       Internationally acclaimed artist, Sol LeWitt – “Wall Drawing #1103 (2003)
-       And don’t miss the “Shaw Wall” which celebrates the historic Shaw community, one of the District’s oldest African American neighborhoods and home to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. 

WHEN:                 Tuesday, October 1*                      6:30 -8:00 pm
                        *Artists discussing their work during this tour are:
jhph-J2I1798-hiresBilly Colbert – The Spirit of Sunday in Shaw, 2003
Naomie Kremer – Two to One, 2000
Foon Sham – Rock in Volyage, 2001

WHERE:               Grand Lobby – Walter E. Washington Convention Center
                                801 Mount Vernon Place, NW
                                Washington, DC 20001
*Use the 9th Street and Mount Vernon Place entrance
RSVP:    Participants must RSVP at or 202.249.3200


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Theresa DuBois
External Affairs Manager
Office of the General Counsel
Events DC 

801 Mount Vernon Place NW
Washington, DC 20001

P 202.249.3042
 | F 202.249.3112
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