by June 14, 2009 at 8:26 pm 3,413 2 Comments

1841 16th Street NW. (Photo: flickr.)

1841 16th Street NW. (Photo: flickr.)

A group of DC preservationists and Dupont-area residents are holding a protest at 7 p.m. Monday in front of 1841 16th Street NW. They are hoping to stop the city from approving the demolition of the house.

You may remember that in June of last year that the residents of the house had to be evacuated when an interior wall collapsed. In fact, residents of adjoining houses had to temporarily evacuate because it was feared the structure would collapse and take neighboring properties with it.

The protest group is concerned that the owner of the building will be allowed to simply demolish it–after years of neglect–instead of repairing the historic structure. Details are below the fold.

A few thoughts about such properties and how we deal with them:

  1. How many other apartment buildings and group houses in Dupont-Logan are in similarly bad shape and pose a threat to residents and neighboring houses? We live in a condo that is in a converted row house. This makes us very familiar with the problems of adjoining houses that are not up to code and have the potentital to severely damage other properties and put human safety at risk. (Remember that we are talking about roofs and walls touching-adjoining.) Moreover, the DC laws on the books are inadequate to protect the rest of us from these slumlords. We have learned this the hard way over the years.
  2. Why don’t our local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, ANC 2B and 2F, make this issue a priority? I believe this is an issue that is not well addressed by our local officials–and they ought to be spending more time on this issue as opposed to mirco-managing small businesses. We hear so much about “businesses need to be good neighbors.” True, but the problems we have on our street are related to slumlords and it’s pasttime that the ANCs used some of their time and effort to go after them with the same zeal they pursue small businesses. Collapsing buildings, back yards full of trash and fire hazards are real dangers to our neighborhoods. (more…)

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