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Note: This is not the convent in Eckington. But it is a building moving from one location to another.

The city’s affordable housing crunch has just been slightly, slightly relieved. On Friday, builders will break ground on a new 178-unit apartment building in the Eckington area, according to the Washington Business Journal. Apparently, the project has been in the works since 2004 and would have gotten off the ground sooner—-quite literally in this case—-if The D.C. Historic Preservation League hadn’t made a fuss about keeping an old convent on the site from being demolished. Instead now, it will be lifted and moved down a hill, according to Chapman Todd, director for housing programs at Catholic Charities.

Interestingly, the only information that I could immediately find about this project are two blog posts from more than a year ago. DCmud posted this account of neighborhood conflict on their site:

When some of the neighboring residents discovered what was being constructed on the corner of Summit and T streets, a massive amount of lawyering commenced; they found a way to get an old convent, which would have been destroyed to build the apartment complex, classified a “Historic Building” with the Historical Preservation Society, effectively halting the development process.According to Reverend Kelley, some of the neighbors had a problem with “greed, race and class.”

And this long-since-updated Eckington blog also chimed in:

I am pro affordable housing. But that housing should be done in a way that doesnt drastically change the neighborhood. Adding 4-500 people in one block is a huge change.

Photo credit: Todd Mundt