Friday, October 15, 2010

McMillan Sand Filtration Planning Meeting

  This Saturday there will be a panel introduction meeting of the design team that is in charge of the final design plan for the McMillian Sand Filtration Site.   This is the first of a three part series discussing the project, and will give the neighborhood a chance to voice their comments and concerns, and gain a better understanding of the project's scope.  The development of the site has been a point of contention among many groups, so the meeting should be action packed!

Meeting Details:
Date: Saturday, October 16, 2010
Time: 10:00 AM
Where: St. Martin`s Church
1908 North Capitol Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
The Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development
Ward 5 Council-member Harry  Thomas, Jr.
Vision - McMillan Partners Design Team

  If you are planning on attending the meeting here is a brief history of the facility.  The McMillan Sand Filtration site is a 25 acre decommissioned water treatment plant located at the intersection of N. Capitol and Michigan Ave, adjacent to the Washington Medical Center.  The complex dates back to1905 when it's completion signaled a milestone in DC public health  through the use of  sand, rather than chemicals, to eliminate communicable diseases.  The original design of the site was dual use, also serving the city as a walking pedestrian park.  Two paved courts lined by regulator houses, tower-like sand bins, sand washers and the gated entrances to the underground filter cells provided a promenade for citizens enjoying the parks unique beauty.  The complex served the city until 1986, and then in 1987 the District of Columbia purchased the site for $9.3M in order to develop the sight.  In 1991, the D.C. Historic Preservation Review Board designated McMillan Park a Historic Landmark.
"The site has been described as an imaginative combination of landscaped park, with promenades, sculpture, curving carriage drives, careful grading and the placement of trees planned and personally supervised by Olmsted. The heirs of Senator McMillan personally financed the landscaping. Crowning the park was a pink granite fountain, designed by Adams and Platt and dedicated in 1913 as a memorial to Senator McMillan. Featuring three nymphs representing faith, hope and charity, the monument was funded by contributions from every Michigan county. The fountain has since been removed."**
Also, here is a youtube video we found from BloomingdaleNow regarding the site.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dog Found...Are you missing a Yorkshire Terrier???

Reader S.R. sent us the below message this morning regarding a Yorkshire Terrier she found this morning.  If you, or some one you know are missing a dog, please read below and help this little guy out.
Hello There,  
I'm hoping you can post something for me. I was out running at about 7:30 this morning on Puerto Rico Ave NE and I found a little stray dog who kept wandering into traffic. He (or she?) looks like he may be a Yorkshire Terrier. He has a pink harness on but no collar. I got him to follow me home and now Animal Control is on their way to pick him up. Unfortunately I can't keep him here because I have my own dog and a cat. Animal Control will only keep him for five days, so I'm really hoping that if you can post this information and some pictures on your blog, whoever lost him can go pick him up before it's too late. AC's phone number is: 202-576-6664.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Vince Gray's Ward 5 Town Hall Meeting Video

Take a look at this very informative, yet somewhat lengthy, Town Hall Meeting video.  It is a really good look at what our incoming Mayor has to say about not only our city, but also Ward 5!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ft. Totten Square: Finally Getting Squared Away

 The Ft. Totten Square (FTS) project has gone through many phases since it's announcement in 2006.  The once proud and highly anticipated community changing project had lost it's financial and community support, and saw a project site sit and decay for over three years.  Just when things couldn't look worse for the FTS project, the clouds parted and the sun began to shine.  Cassidy Turley Commercial Real Estate Services took on the major task of finding investors who have capitol available to refinance the project, and within months of coming on board they were able to close the refinancing deal for Lowe Enterprises.   
  For those of you that have been distracted by the massive road construction project at the intersection of Riggs and South Dakota in NE, or who haven't ventured up into this quiet section of the city, the demolition has finally begun on the former strip mall that sat on the project site. In a city feeling the economic strains shared with most of the country, the project will give a much needed economic boost to the City and Ward 5 economy.  This project will not simply create a temporary boost for blue collar jobs, but more importantly will create long term sustainable jobs in the massive mixed use project.  When we sat down with Ward 5 City Council Representative Harry Thomas last month, he noted the fact that Ward 5 job set asides are always at the top of his priority list when it comes to discussions with new commercial establishments.  Second on his list would be assisting locally owned business, especially restaurants, acquire the funding they need to gain a foothold in the new neighborhood markets. 
   While the new time line has not yet been revealed (both Lowe and Cassidy Turley had been contacted serveal times but provided no response), the future surely looks bright for the FTS project.  The coming retail and culinary additions to the neighborhood landscape will be closely followed, and hotly debated (most exciting of which could be the new full service grocery slated to anchor the retail side of the development). But only time will tell how the project pans out, and what direction the project ultimately takes.  One thing for sure is that the project is moving forward at a brisk pace, and regardless of the final product it has removed a growing eyesore from the neighborhood.

Artist's rendition of the finished Ft. Totten Square project
(Ft. Totten Metro and S.D. Ave at top right of image)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Capital Bikeshare Hits Brookland

  The proposed expansion of the Capital Bikeshare program has finally arrived in Brookland!  For those of you unfamiliar with the Capital Bikeshare Program, it is a network of 1,100 bicycle located at over 110 stations across Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA.  The daily, weekly, monthly or annual membership allows a member to pick up a bike from one Bikeshare locations, and drop it off at another.  The way it works is members are sent a Capital Bikeshare key allowing them access to bikes at every location.  Once you have arrived at one of the locations, you insert your key into any bike dock with an available bike and remove the bike for use.  Once you are done you simply return the bike to an open slot at any location.  The system is not meant for all day or week use of a single bike, but rather short term point to point use of bikes for commuting like purposes.  
The Brookland location can be found along the 12th St. side of CVS (below the intersection of 12th and Netwon St.), and is already operational, and is in perfect position for a quick trip down the Metropolitan Branch Trail to Union Station!

Information and membership information can be found at the Capital Bikeshare website.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Action Packed Weekend in 20017

  On this first beautiful weekend of October, there is surely no shortage of things to take up your time in the wonderful neighborhoods of 20017!  First get your weekend started off with the unveiling of the newest addition to the Brookland Neighborhood Street-scape.  In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Brookland Cafe will be  unveiling Joel Bergners latest mural.  The event, sponsored by DASH(District Alliance for Safe Housing) and Lovebus Events, will feature free food and Live Performances at the Brookland Cafe from 4-6 PM. 
  On Sunday,Oct 3rd, a fundraising 5k will be taking place around North Michigan Park, Brookland and CUA to benifit the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute.The Office of Disability Support Services is hosting a 5K to raise money for the Kennedy Institute's Infant and    Toddler Program. This program serves three to six year olds, with and without development delays, in an inclusive setting. The race will take place on October 3, 2010 at the Dufour Center, with check-in beginning at 9:30am. Registration is $15.00 per person for CUA and Kennedy Institute Affiliates ($17.00 day of the race) and $20 for the general population ($25 day of the race). The race will be followed by a fun fair at the Dufour Center fields. To sign up to walk or run, please visit the Disability Support Services website ( and follow the link for the registration website.The 5K Fun-Fair from10:00am until 2:00pm on Sunday, October 3, there will be a will feature carnival games with prizes, a moon bounce, and food courtsey of DC Slices Pizza, Red, Hot, and Blue BBQ and Rita's Water Ice.  There will be a "donation fee" of $5 to enter the fair.  The race and fair will also impact those of you who choose not to participate, through the closing of several local streets for a period in the morning. 
  If you are more of a pet person, then we have something for you as well!  The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America, located at 1400 Quincy St NE, will hold its annual Blessing of the Animals as part of the celebration of the Feast of St. Francis this Sunday at 1:30 pm.  The event is open to all, and is always a very festive and entertaining event!