Borderstan has learned that The Temple Garden, a local community garden on property owned by the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry at 1733 16th Street NW, will be closing after the 2011 harvest. The garden is on the 15th Street side of their property between R and S Streets NW.
In a letter to garden President David Rosner, the president of the The House of the Temple Historic Preservation Foundation, Ronald Seale said, “In connection with certain conservation efforts we are undertaking at the House of the Temple building, we need to use the garden lots as a staging, parking and storage area.”
In the letter, Seale went on to say “although the garden area of our property will be closed, we will continue to be a responsible and contributing member of the neighborhood.” The Freemason’s House of the Temple building and the residential Chastleton building are neighborhood icons that respectively anchor the north and south corners of the eastside of the 16th Street between R and S Streets.
David Rosner, president of the Temple Garden told Borderstan:
“We are deeply saddened to learn that the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, House of the Temple has announced that it will close its community garden on 15th and S Streets NW at the end of 2011. The Temple Garden has been a community institution since 1990. An estimated 800 individuals have at one time or another tended plots in the Temple Garden, and we currently have over 100 members tending more than 75 plots. The Temple Garden has always been supportive of activities and initiatives on the part of the Scottish Rite, and we hope to continue to be so. The gardening community hopes to be able to work with the Scottish Rite to find a solution that enables the garden to continue to support the community.”