Sign up for our free newsletter
Once upon a time, residents protested development by speaking up at Advisory Neighborhood Commission meetings. In 2011, organized kvetching jumped to a more modern platform. When architect Eric Colbert presented a 10-story condominium plan for Wallach Place NW, neighbor Craig Brownstein turned his unhappiness over its height and design into U Street Dirt, a WordPress-hosted piece of virtual testimony about why the building would surely destroy the neighborhood. Brownstein et al deemed the building “WallachZilla” and claimed Colbert was adhering to the “Ballston school of architecture.” NIMBYite hyperventillation? Yes, but it worked. Colbert shaved off 10 units and set the building farther back from the street.