The Other Side on the B&B that Became a Cement Embassy
From Michelle Lancaster. Follow her and tell her your news on Twitter @MichLancaster or email her at [email protected].
It’s known as the Toutorsky Mansion. Located at the northwest corner of 16th Street and Riggs Place NW, it was a Bed and Breakfast operation for several years. After being denied with their request to expand operations, the owners sold to the government of the Republic of Congo. That, of course, is when the real issues began.
I recently reviewed Mark Lee’s column in the Washington Blade that suggested protests to the former B&B there and its expansion request led to the Congolese Embassy (Brazzavile not Kinshasa) –which in turn begat a paved-over lawn. Now, the Blade has given equal space for the response from Doug Rogers.
Rogers is a board member of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) and is particularly peeved at the suggestion of anti-gay bias in any DCCA dealings. Rogers doesn’t delve into what happened with the opposition to the former B&B’s plan several years ago in disputing these claims (I suggest you check out our piece and the comments for a lot more insight).
Rogers’ response to Lee’s column focuses more on the present. (I agree that regardless of what happened with the previous owner, the paving of the lawn was wrong and should be protested.) Rogers also argues that the majority of DCCA’s protests have prevented things such as a U Street Beltway from coming to fruition.
Protests are an important part of our 1st Amendment rights, and let the record show I support them. But I don’t think I’m alone in feeling a bit trapped in PCU, waiting for Jeremy Piven to show up and break the tension.