Wednesday, April 30, 2008

City Paper: Klingle Road is Dead

Loose Lips reported in the April 24th edition of The City Paper a brief history of Klingle Road. Today, in a Council mark-up, the monies earmarked by the Mayor for this project were eliminated in committee. Mike DeBonis has the full story.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Much to Worry About in Forest Hills

Almost a year ago, ANC 3F Commissioner videotaped patron's of Comet Pizza playing ping-pong on the sidewalk in front of the establishment. In a recent ANC 3F meeting, the issue of public space usage was raised by Winstead. He was quoted in the Northwest Current as saying,

""I think this pingpong table in public space is a safety hazard and I want to see it gone."

Comments on the Tenleytown Listserv are fairly supportive of having the table in public space. Said one contributor:

I would love to see a venue for ping pong in our Tenleytown business district--our whole block on Alton Place is crazy about ping pong. A neighbor has set up a table in his yard, and it's a great way to get people of all ages and genders together.

and another:

We loved the ping-pong table -- both when we were playing on it and when we passed others doing so.

and finally:

I live down the street from the Comet, and I actually LOVED the idea of the ping pong table outside. It made the sidewalk look lively and it was great to see people engaged in having good clean fun! I did not feel that it blocked the side walk. I was actually looking forward to summer and going there to play ping pong myself. I am really surprised that this has been an 'issue'. Don't we have more important things in our neighborhood to worry about? I hope they reverse this decision.

PS: I would love to hear from ANC commissioner, Frank Winstead, why he felt the ping pong table was such a blight in our neighborhood street scape, and why he expended so much energy to fight the ping pong table. Am I missing something?

How long will it take for Comet to apply for a proper license so the table can be reintroduced to the streetscape?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

DCMUD updates the Giant Project in Cleveland Park

The recent entry from the DC MUD blog updates the Giant redevelopment project in Cleveland Park.

Klingle Road: Mary Cheh Responds

From the ongoing discussion on the Cleveland Park Listserv:

There have been a few recent posts concerning Klingle Road, including one purporting to quote me as not concerned with Porter Street. The undocumented quote is simply false. But the current dialogue on this list serve offers the opportunity to again set out my position, a position I have consistently held and shared.

The particular segment of Klingle Road under discussion (and there are many pieces of Klingle Road around the area) is less than one mile long, and I think it should remain closed. It has been closed for about 17 years. This section begins at Porter on the west side of Rock Creek Park and travels in a south westerly direction to Woodley, where traffic empties onto local streets. DDOT determined that closing it had a negligible effect on traffic flow because it was very lightly used.

Restoring the road is economically unsound and environmentally harmful. Restoration will cost at least $11 million dollars, and maintenance will be very expensive since the area is subject to severe flooding. The former road was both narrow, with 2 lanes and no city land for shoulders (still the case today), and subject to severe icing. The federal and local dollars can and should be reallocated to any number of greater needs.

At the same time, this land is a beautiful addition to the park and an opportunity to add an additional buffer to the creek and its tributaries. A road causes significant run-off, adds pollution, and degrades the beauty and health of the area. Not surprisingly the environmental groups such as the Sierra Club favor the continued
closure of the road. And, because of the width constraints, a road would eliminate the prospect for a pedestrian and bike trail, which I favor.

We have precious few opportunities to add valuable green space to the City, and this is one we should be eager to have. We have to know where to grow and to build (along major corridors and transit nodes) and where not to (along park land and environmentally delicate areas such as wetlands).

I realize that this issue has been debated for a long time and that opinions have been divided. Two former mayors favored closure and a previous Council voted 8-5 to open the road. Yet the matter arises again because budget decisions must be made by those now entrusted to make them. And, of course, a new legislature may, and on many
occasions has, seen an old issue with new eyes and with a new calculus.

I respect that people still have differing views about this, and that many hold their views fervently. But my decision, known to all when I ran for election, is one I reached based on my best judgment and my best estimate of good public policy.

Thank you for reading this perhaps overly long post.

-Mary Cheh

Friday, April 25, 2008

Klingle Road in Trouble

Mike DeBonis of the City Paper has updated the committee talley for the Mayoral proposal to fund the study to reopen Klingle Road. According to DeBonis,

Brown’s conviction also means that the mayor’s $2 million Klingle Road line item isn’t going to make it out of the council’s committee on public works and the environment. Committee chair and Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham favors spending the money, as does Ward 4’s Muriel Bowser, but the other three committee members—Mary Cheh of Ward 3, Yvette Alexander of Ward 7, and Brown—are all now unequivocally on the record against it.

Tenleytown Receives Historic Treatment

The District of Columbia Historic Preservation Review Board voted unanimously to support the multi-property nomination covering old Tenleytown - Tenleytown, Friendship Heights and American University Park - providing a historical context for pre-suburban development, suburbanization, institutional growth, commercial development and the Fort Reno Reservoir was approved. This action does not provide any specific protection to listed properties, but rather provides background for future nominations. After adopting the multiple listing document, the HPRB accepted two specific sites into the DC Register of Historic Sites:

Eldbrooke United Methodist Church
Architect: Howard W. Cutler
Builder: C. H. Brooks
Built: 1926

Eldbrooke United Methodist Church, now owned by The City Church - DC, has been central to the history of Tenleytown since its establishment in 1840. The handsome 1926 Spanish Colonial Revival building, situated at the corner of River Road and Murdock Mill Road adjacent to the Sears Building in Tenleytown, is the fourth Methodist church building on this site. The first church, called Mount Zion Methodist, was erected in 1840 and was rebuilt after the Civil War. A larger church was built there in 1899, and the name was changed to Eldbrooke, honoring community members Aquila Eld and Philip Brooke.

The church is constructed of steel and tile, with a red tile roof and textured stucco exterior. All of the exterior ornamentation is cast cement. The roof retains its original red tiles. The gabled fa├žade is ornamented with a bas-relief in the multi-curved Spanish Baroque style. A square bell tower is attached to the front southeast corner of the building. The sanctuary contains numerous stained glass windows donated by and in memory of church members.

The Methodist Cemetery
Architect: N/A
Builder: N/A
Built: est. 1855

In 1855 twelve Tenleytown men purchased land along Murdock Mill Road and established The Methodist Cemetery. The twelve represented many of the founding families of Tenleytown and it is believed that their purchase of the land formalized a use already in practice. Though most of the founders were also members of the adjacent Mount Zion Methodist Church (Eldbrooke United Methodist), the cemetery has always been independently owned and maintained, a fact that distinguishes it from contemporary cemeteries. In the mid-nineteenth century, burials customarily were on private land or in church affiliated cemeteries.

The cemetery's proximity to Fort Reno made it an attractive campsite for soldiers. The cemetery is the final resting place of many of Tenleytown's early residents. It is owned and maintained by The Methodist Cemetery Association whose members are descendants of the 'Tenleytown Twelve.'

- Tenleytown Historical Society

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Vacancy in ANC 3C

There is a vacancy in ANC 3C.

The DC Register has advertised the vacancies so anyone who lives in 3C04 (which is east of Conn. Ave. between Macomb St. and Quebec St.) may file to fill this position for the remainder of the vacant term. All commissioners are elected in November for 2-year terms.

In order to file you must go to the Board of Elections and Ethics at 441 4th St. NW (Judiciary Square metro/red line) and pick up petitions. At least 25 residents of that single member district who are registered DC voters must sign the petitions. The petitions must be turned into the BOEE by 4:45PM on Monday, May 5.

If only one person files for the seat, he or she will be announced as the automatic winner. If there is more than one filer, there will be special elections in May or June. If there are no filers, the seats cannot be filled by special election less than 6 months before the general election in November so the seat will remain vacant until January 2009 when commissioners elected in November take office.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Celebrate DC's New High Point on 4/19

Date: Saturday, April 19 (Rain date: April 26)

Time: 11 a.m.

Place: Point Reno at Fort Reno Park (between Alice Deal Junior High School and Chesapeake Street, NW)

DC's highest natural elevation, located in Tenleytown, has now been officially confirmed. A recognition and celebration has been planned by Tenleytown Historical Society and Tenleytown Neighbors Association in cooperation with the National Park Service.

The brief program will focus on how Tenleytown's geography has influenced its history, and how the actual high point was determined. Speakers will include Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh and others.

Following the program a tour of Fort Reno led by a National Park Service Ranger will be offered.


When: Saturday, April 19th at 11 AM
Where: Point Reno at Fort Reno Park

Sponsored By: Tenleytown Historical Society/Tenleytown Neighbors Association/NPS


Welcome (to Tenleytown) - Ken Faulstich
Welcome from National Park Service - Superintendent Adrienne Coleman
Tenleytown Geography - Dick Randall
Tenleytown History - Dr. Frank Cooling (Tenleytown Historical Society)
The High Point - Robert Hyman (Highpointers Club)
Surveying the Point - Joe Snider (DC Association of Land Surveyors)
DC Heritage - Jane Freundel Levey (Cultural Tourism DC)
Tenleytown Neighbors - Cathy Wiss (Commissioner 3F06)
DC Ward 3 - Council Member Mary Cheh

Tour of Fort Reno afterwards by NPS ranger

* Expected Duration: 30 minutes (Standing Event - No Seating Available)

Directions: Event is being held on east side of Fort Reno Park which is located across from Wilson SHS and next to Alice Deal JHS. From the intersection of Nebraska Ave and Chesapeake St, proceed up the hill at the SE corner of Fort Reno Park and look for the event. Access from the Tenleytown-AU Metro stop or street parking is available along Chesapeake St NW.

Discover the Location of DC's Highest Natural Elevation and how it influenced Tenleytown history

Each state is proud to have a natural high point elevation designation. Now so does DC - Point Reno!!! Through the survey efforts of the Highpointers Club and the DC Association of Land Surveyors, a marker has been installed at the National Park Service's Fort Reno Park in NW Washington. At an elevation of 409 feet above sea level, Point Reno is officially designated as the highest natural elevation in DC. Prior to the construction in 1860s of fortifications for the Civil War at Fort Reno to protect the nation's capital and the construction of a water reservoir system and towers in the early 1900s to serve DC residents and business growth, the highest natural elevation may have been around 430 feet.

Tenleytown - DC's second oldest neighborhood! Due to its high elevation, this area of DC has a long and rich history. From early Indian trails that preceded Wisconsin Avenue, to the tobacco trade of the 1800s, to the popular Tennally Tavern in the 1890s, Tenleytown was the crossroads of upper NW. With its commanding view of the countryside, in the 1860s Fort Reno became the largest of the Circle of Forts that protected the Union capital during the Civil War. The brick and stone water towers in the early 1900s at the Fort Reno site became well known icons due to their visibility. And the TV and radio towers surrounding the area moved in during the 1950s to take advantage of the higher elevation.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Coming Soon: A Heritage Trail Near You

Congratulations to the Tenleytown Historical Society which has successfully completed a Heritage trail celebrating the life and times of this historic community.

According to the Express:

The Washington D.C. Neighborhood Heritage Trails Advisory Committee on Tuesday OK'd a plan to create the trail. Jane Waldmann, a member of the heritage trail working group and board member at the Tenleytown Historical Society, said it should be completed in about a year.

Friday, April 04, 2008

CPCA Meeting on Downtown Growth 4/10

Thursday, April 10, 2008, 6:30 pm
Cleveland Park Library, Connecticut Avenue and Newark Street, NW

The Future of DC's New "Center City"

Richard H. Bradley
Executive director, "Downtown BID" (Business Improvement District)

Judy Scott Feldman,
Chair, National Coalition to Save Our Mall

Patricia Zingsheim
Associate Director, Revitalization & Design, DC Office of Planning and Program
Manager, Center City Action Agenda 08

Despite the economic slowdown, downtown Washington is humming, and city planners
and groups such as the "Downtown BID" (Business Improvement District) are
seeking ways to keep up the momentum. DC's new "Center City Action Agenda 2008"
targets the area north and south of the National Mall for major residential and
commercial development. This could become the next great economic engine for
the city. With the National Mall at the heart of this area, the Mall's urgent
need for coordinated planning, better access, parking and visitor improvements
can no longer be ignored by city officials or the Congress. The National
Coalition to Save Our Mall has called for a new "McMillan Commission" and a
vision for an expanded, 21st Century Mall, serving tourists, residents and
planned city growth. A Coalition-founded National Mall Conservancy has also been