Stop rolling your eyes, this paved embassy front yard at 16th and Riggs NW is a big deal! I’m serious, actually.
It’s a big enough deal that the State Department has intervened and issued a pretty scathing letter to the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) regarding their choice of landscaping for the chancery. Greater Greater Washington has a good recap of the series of events and the actual regulations in play.
The State Department letter, in no uncertain terms, says they “expect the Embassy to comply” with the District DDOT’s provision on unauthorized paving. Their 30 days are running, and we will keep you posted on what, if anything, happens. I say that in jest, but I know this is an eyesore to many residents and a concern to others about the lack of control over embassy actions on their properties. I kid, because I love.
If you haven’t been following the story, the property is still known to many in the neighborhood 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. Previous stories listed below.
- The Other Side on the B&B that Became a Cement Embassy
- Embassies, Trees, B&Bs: Be Careful What You Protest?
- SYMHM: Concrete, Lincoln and Vintage
- DCCA to Protest Congolese Embassy Over 16th Street Renovations
- SYMHM: ANC 2B Says No to Congolese Chancery
- Toutorsky Mansion Owners Apply for Chancery Use