From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan may vote to oppose the demolition of 1618 14th Street NW, former site of the sex club, “Men Parties.”
At last night’s meeting, ANC 2F’s Community Development Committee (CDC) voted 6-0 to recommend the full ANC not support an application to DC’s Historical Preservation Review Board (HPRB) for a raze permit for the building. The demolition requires permission from the HPRB because the building is within the boundaries of the Fourteenth Street Historic District.
Jeff Owens appeared before the committee to plead the case of the building’s owner, Stephen Jaffe. Reports indicate Jaffe has been the owner since before the 2009 incident.
Owens said the building had been gutted and is now exposed to the elements. He also said the building’s perimeter wall is buckling and the floor joists are gone. Neighborhood residents testified the building is neglected and some windows are open permanently.
Owens also said there is a tentative plan for a new building on the site which would have retail on the first floor and apartments above.
Neighborhood residents testified the building has been an eyesore for years and there were many unsuccessful attempts by neighbors to do something about it. One neighbor brought up the owner’s responsibility for the club and the 2009 death.
“He [Jaffe] knows nothing about that,” Owens said.
Members of the committee came out strongly in favor of preserving the building.
“This is the type of case that historic preservation laws have been designed to protect,” said one committee member.
“This is an absolute case of demolition by neglect,” said another.
“It’s a contributing building,” said committee chair Walt Cain, ANC commissioner for district 02.
The matter may be next considered at the regular monthly meeting of ANC 2F. This is scheduled for Wednesday, July 10, at 7 pm, at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle NW.
A notice that an application to raze the building had been filed first appeared at the property in April of this year.
The Washington Business Journal reports that two-thirds of the units at the Metropole, 15th and P NW, are sold.
Amanda Hess, The Sexist columnist at the Washington City Paper, has the latest news related to the “Men’s Parties” death on October 4 at 1618-A 14th Street NW: “D.C. Files Lawsuit Against “Men’s Parties.“ From her Thursday posting:
Yesterday, the District of Columbia filed suit against “Men’s Parties,” the underground male sex club located at 1618 14th Street NW. The club has operated for decades in Logan Circle the D.C. area–through fire, allegations of unsafe sexual conditions, and most recently, a member’s death from an accidental head injury inside the club.
Earlier Borderstan Postings:
Did the “Men’s Parties” club at 1618-A 14th Street NW close for good? I dont’ know. Anyone know anything more than what is in this week’s Sexist column at the Washington City Paper? Amanda Hess, The Sexist, has a long piece, “Steep Price: Gay Sex Club Closes After Fatal Injury.”
A patron of the venue was found dead early on the morning of Sunday, October 4. To my knowledge, it has not been determined whether the man fell and hit his head, leading to his death… or whether he fell down a flight of stairs and broke his neck. What’s the latest, readers?
Amanda Hess, “The Sexist” blogger/reporter at the Washington City Paper, attended tonight’s ANC 2F/Logan Circle meeting and has an update on the goings-on at 1618-A 14th Street NW: “Men’s Party” Sex Club Victim May Have Broken Neck.” From her report:
At tonight’s ANC 2F meeting, 3rd District Lieutenant Vanessa Moore provided some details into the police investigation of Sunday’s sex club death at 1618 14th Street NW…. Moore says D.C. police are working with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to attempt to close the club. “I know he does not have any license at that location,” Moore said. “We’re looking for ways to shut him down.” Go to CP article
The Washington Blade posted a story online on Tuesday by reporter Lou Chibbaro Jr.
On our bedtime walk-with-the-dog, we went by 1618-A 14th Street NW, site of the early Sunday morning death of a patron at the location’s private club. The police tape was gone and the gate was unlocked.
After taking a gander at the building’s front, we headed down the 1400-block of Corcoran. There is an iron security gate on the Corcoran side of the building and you can easily look into the back “garden” area of 1618. We heard a door open and saw light coming from the building. A guy stepped into the back area. I asked him if they were open for business. “Yes,” was the response. (more…)