We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
As part of the multimillion-dollar renovation of its building at 14th and P Streets NW, the Studio Theatre hopes to use flower boxes and other greenery to create an alfresco “lobby” outside its P Street entrance, where theater patrons would mill about during intermissions. The only glitch is that steps away from the entrance stands a Metrobus shelter, which doubles as a resting spot for inebriated homeless guys. Combined with flower boxes, the shelter would wreak havoc with pedestrian traffic, says Logan Circle Community Association (LCCA) board member Chris Reutershan. So members of LCCA and the Logan Circle advisory neighborhood commission (ANC) have proposed asking Metro to move the shelter across 14th Street near the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind. Thus far the plan has met little opposition, says Reutershan. But Blagden Alley ANC commissioner Beth Solomon suspects the plan is just another attempt by upscale Logan Circle residents to disperse their homeless population. “There are bus stops in front of the Julliard Music School, Carnegie Hall, and the Opera in Paris,” says Solomon. “Is the Studio so grand that it can’t have a bus stop in front?”
Monumental According to the Wall Street Journal, Chicago businessman Howard Tullman thinks the White House lawn could use a little ornamentation. He’s not proposing pink flamingos but a $135,000, 17-foot, 27-ton bronze sculpture designed for the 1989 bicentennial celebration of George Washington’s inauguration. For three years, Tullman has been trying to donate the monument to the White House, hoping to sell replicas once the sculpture lands a prominent spot on the First Lawn. So far, he’s been dismissed by everyone from the National Park Service to President Clinton himself, and the gigantic sculpture continues to languish in the most unusual of galleries: Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) headquarters. According to the Journal, sculptor Brett-Livingstone Strong got his friend, pop star Michael Jackson, to find storage space for the piece after Strong sold it to a now-defunct investment group. MPD spokesman Det. JC Stamps says he’s not sure which police chief moonwalked with Jackson, and there’s no word yet whether the winged sculpture might ultimately roost at Neverland Ranch. Stamps says, “I don’t know what they’re going to do with it.”
Home Alone District residents have a long history of opposing neighborhood programs for the homeless, drug addicts, and the mentally ill. Now it looks as if the elderly are joining the list of undesirables. Neighbors of the Presbyterian Home, a nonprofit retirement community, are fighting a plan to attach a $15-million addition to its lush, 12.5-acre plot on Military Road NW. The building has drawn few complaints since its construction in the late 1950s. But opponents contend the expansion—which would require a special zoning exception—would double the size of the existing building, require chopping down hundreds of trees, and undercut property values. Residents have lined Military Road and 29th Street with signs and banners opposing the expansion, and last week the local ANC unanimously voted against the plan. R. Darryl Stephens, president of Concerned Neighbors of the Presbyterian Home says, “We’re not against older people living where they want, but [the proposed building] is condos for wealthy people. I’m not here to accommodate my back yard to the latest trend in medical care.”