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No More Concrete at The Embassy of Congo

by Borderstan.com December 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm 5 Comments

"Borderstan""16th Street NW""Embassy of Congo"

No more concrete at the Embassy of The Republic of Congo. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos on Picplz and at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

Work is underway at the Embassy of the Republic of Congo to remove the recently poured concrete from the front lawn — we’re assuming they’re not simply replacing it with a different type of concrete. The old Toutorsky Mansion at the corner of 16th Street and Riggs Place NW, now the Republic of Congo Embassy, is getting some green back. The action comes after a protest from the  Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) — and even  a letter from the State Department complaining about the willful destruction of the front lawn and several large trees during renovation of its new embassy on 16th Street.

The Congo (Brazzaville) purchased the 1894 Toutorsky Mansion earlier this year. In January ANC 2B voted 8-0 to protest the Congo’s plans to turn the mansion into a chancery-embassy location.

Under DC law, front lawns are city property, but Embassy properties are considered foreign soil and exempt from DC law. Knowing this, neighborhood officials had specifically requested that no changes be made to the historic greensward. The sale was approved by the Board of Zoning Adjustment’s Foreign Missions Department only after Congo agreed.

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Comments (5)

  1. Excellent news (most likely)!

  2. I actually noticed this when walking to work this morning. Glad to see it!

  3. This was a welcome site to see yesterday as I couldn’t believe my eyes (SORE) that they illegally covered this historic property with CEMENT! I know parking is terrible but WTF? Hopefully, they can honestly beautify the property properly with green grass, shrubbery, and some stately perennials.

    Borderstan thanks for covering this story!

  4. I wonder who the Congolese government feared more, Hillary Clinton or the good ladies of the DCCA?

  5. “Under DC law, front lawns are city property” — not necessarily true. It all depends on where the road right-of-way ends. Sometimes all of a front yard is “public space”, because the adjacent road was laid out to be much wider than was actually paved. Sometimes only a few feet of the front yard is “public space”, so it’s only the fence or wall along the edge that is subject to public space regulations. That’s what got Mayor Gray and his oversize fence in trouble.

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