Posted on 23 December 2011.
16th Street and Riggs Place NW: The recently poured concrete at the Republic of Congo Embassy came up on December 19. (Luis Gomez Photos)
From Michelle Lancaster. Follow her and tell her your news on Twitter @MichLancaster or email her at email@example.com.
Apparently, the squeaky wheel does get the grease. Or perhaps it often just has a better PR person? At any rate, Dupont Circle residents made so much noise about the decision by the Republic of Congo Embassy to pave their front yard that the embassy relented and began tearing up the concrete on Monday. (See No More Concrete at the Embassy of Congo.)
It took the DC Department of Transportation, the State Department and other local officials — along with neighborhood organizations — to make it happen. But now even the Grey Lady is in the picture. The New York Times story on Wednesday was after the Republic of Congo took corrective action with plans to replace the concrete with “bushes and mulch.”
The Dupont Circle Conservancy gets much of the credit in the article and the president is quoted a few times. The actual protests in front of the embassy were organized by the Dupont Circle Citizens Association.
The coverage of this squabble in the The Times means a few things:
- First, it is an extremely slow news week leading up to Christmas.
- Second, enough attention in local blogs can trickle up to the highest echelons of power (I’m talking about the State Department, not the The Times for any of you FOX News lovers).
- Third, be very careful if you want to build/renovate/alter anything in Dupont Circle.
The money quote in the article from the Republic of Congo’s ambassador, Serge Mombouli: “They asked us remove the pavement, and that is what we are doing,” he said. “I know that that will not look nice, but that for me is as far as it goes. If we are required to do more, we will lodge a strong protest with the U.S. government.”
Merry Christmas to you, too, Mr. Ambassador.
Posted in Politics & Government
Posted on 10 October 2011.
Saturday at 11 pm at 16th and R Streets NW: The street was partially blocked for about two hours due to a collision.(Borderstan)
The intersection of 16th and R Streets NW was partially blocked for about two hours around 9 pm on Saturday. Borderstan spoke to bystanders, witnesses and police on the scene to piece together what happened. A man was driving a station wagon with DC plates westbound on R Street NW when he hit a car at 13th Street NW. The driver of the station wagon continued westbound, with the car and driver he had hit following him. When the driver of the station wagon turned to go north on 16th Street he hit another car. Neither of the drivers in the two cars that were hit were injured.
Following the accident at 16th and R, both DC Police and an ambulance were on the scene. The driver of the station wagon was on a stretcher, having suffered minor injuries from the collision at 16th and R. His passenger, a woman, was on the ground behind the station wagon — police were having difficulty subdueing her. Police eventually took the woman away in a police van while the driver of the station wagon left in an ambulance.
Posted in Crime
Posted on 10 January 2011.
The owners of the Toutorsky mansion at 16th and Riggs NW have applied for zoning review to locate a chancery in the landmark property. (Luis Gomez Photos)
From Tom Hay. Questions for Tom? Send him an email.
The owners of the historic Toutorsky Mansion at 1720 16th Street NW in Dupont Circle have filed an application with the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) seeking approval to locate a chancery in the property. The filing by owners Humberto and Francisco Gonzalez is on behalf of the contract purchaser of the property, The Embassy of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville). Under the Foreign Mission Act of 1982, the location of a chancery in certain mixed-use areas of the city is subject to review and possible disapproval by the BZA.
Read the full story
Posted in Politics & Government
Posted on 01 December 2010.
From Tom Hay
16th and Corcoran NW: Green Door to close Dupont Clubhouse Dec. 31. (Luis Gomez Photos)
Green Door will be closing its Dupont Circle clubhouse on Dec. 31. The community program prepares women and men with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses to work and live independently in the DC and has operated the clubhouse at 1623 16th St. NW since 1976.
The organization also has a facility at 1221 Taylor St. that will remain open and continue some of the programs when the 16th St. location closes.
Judith Johnson, the president of Green Door, said services were threatened by DC Government budget cuts, and shortfalls in billing under Medicaid. After closing and moving to Taylor St., the Dupont clubhouse building will be sold. The DC Real Property Assessment database lists the property assessment as $4.7 million.
Johnson issued the following statement:
The Green Door Clubhouse programs did more than provide education and job training skills to men and women in our community living with mental illness; our members learned to support one another, advocate for themselves and help others in our community by volunteering, speaking out about mental illness and representing Green Door at community forums. Closing our doors was a hard — but necessary — decision. The change in our funding mechanism (billing under Medicaid), the recent DC budget cuts and the operational costs to maintain two locations forced us to review our financial forecast and take decisive action.
According to a 1991 Washington Post article on the $2 million renovation of the clubhouse, the mansion housing Green Door was built in 1886 for Hampton B. Denman, a former mayor of Leavenworth, Kansas. The architectural style was described as a combination of Queen Anne and Richardsonian Romanesque, both popular at the time.
A closing party at the Clubhouse is scheduled for Dec. 29 from 3 to 7 pm.
Posted in News