January Social Hour: A presentation and discussion on Wealth, Power,and Architecture During Dupont Circle’s Gilded Age
Dupont Circle became the epicenter of Washington’s high society during the Gilded Age. Much of the social and architectural history of the Dupont Circle neighborhood is illustrated through the experiences of Sarah Whittemore, builder of 1526 New Hampshire Ave NW, who like so many others, moved to the area from the mid-west in order to try to establish themselves in society.
This talk will be led by Stephen Hansen. Hansen is an architectural historian, historic preservation specialist, and author. He is founder and serves as principal of Preservation Matters, an historic preservation policy and architectural history consulting firm. His professional life has also included positions with the National Park Service and several cultural resource management and archaeology firms. He is a Director of the National Mall Coalition and a past President (2016-19) and Trustee of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City. He holds a B.A. from Oberlin College, an M.A. from The George Washington University, and a Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation from Goucher College.
The online event is for DCCA Members and will be held on Monday, January 11th at 7:30 PM. To register for the member event click here. Not yet a member or need to renew? Click here. REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.
DCCA President Glenn Engelmann testified at the DC Council’s hearing on the Proposed Amendments to the DC Comprehensive Plan.
DCCA applauded the Council’s changes to the framework portion of the plan which preserved the right to seek court review of zoning decisions and the proposed retention of the overall density guidance for the neighborhood. However, we advocated for tightening the language to ensure that due recognition is given to the historical nature of our neighborhood but at the same time advocated for stronger language relative to the creation of affordable housing and consideration of converting commercial properties to residential in order to achieve this goal.
A copy of DCCA’s statement can be found by clicking here.
On Friday, DCCA sent a letter to DCPS Chancellor Ferebee expressing concern regarding the recent dismissal of the principal for School Without Walls at Francis-Stevens and the lack of clarity about plans to ensure the safety of all DCPS students as the city moves to in person classes. DCCA asks for a clear explanation of the grounds for the principal's dismissal, the basis for assessing the health and safety at DC schools during the pandemic and better communication with parents, teachers and community groups.
The full letter can be found by click here.
The Dupont Circle Citizens Association hosted an online candidates forum on September 30th. This informational forum is an opportunity for residents to hear from each of the ANC2B candidates and understand their viewpoints on local issues. We encourage you to take some time to watch the forum and get to know your ANC commissioner and learn more about those who will be on your November ballot.
The Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 2B) is the publicly elected representatives for the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners are non-partisan, serve two-year terms without pay and are elected in even-numbered years. ANC2B has jurisdiction over the vast majority of Dupont Circle and is comprised of nine ANC Commissioners. Each Commissioner has a Single Member District (SMD) and represents about 2,000 residents. The ANCs' main job is to be their neighborhood's official voice in advising the District government (and Federal agencies) on things that affect their neighborhoods. Although not required to follow the ANCs' advice, District agencies are, on many occasions, required to give the ANCs' recommendations "great weight."
To view a list of the candidates and a map of the ANC2B Single Member Districts click HERE.
Monday, October 5
The DCCA October membership meeting (online) will be your chance to hear directly from your representatives! Mark your calendar for Monday, October 5th at 7:30 p.m. Featured speakers will be DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto. Our speakers will present on issues relevant to Dupont Circle followed by a Q&A session.
Members and non-members are welcome to register and attend the meeting. You MUST register in order to receive log-in credentials. To register for the October 5th event, click here.
September's Online Member Social Hour will take place on September 14th at 7:30. DCCA Members will receive an email with an invitation to register for the event. Not a member? Click here to join.
September's topic will be: Racial injustice in the Dupont Circle neighborhood – the story of one block, and more
Black and white families often lived next to each other in 19th century Washington, particularly in the city center. However, during the first half of the 20th century segregated housing, playgrounds and schools became the norm. Racially restrictive covenants were a particularly effective tool for segregating housing.
In August 1921, white residents of the 1700 block of S Street NW signed an agreement to restrict the sale or rental of their houses to white people, even though the row of more modest houses at the western end of this block of S street had always been Black-occupied.
Mara Cherkasky is a historian specializing in DC neighborhoods, institutions, and agencies. She has worked on a number of Neighborhood Heritage Trails and the city’s African American Civil Rights Tour. She has also authored books and articles, contributed to documentary films, and written historic-site signage. Mara is a co-founder of both the historical research firm Prologue DC (http://prologuedc.com/) and the digital public history project Mapping Segregation in Washington DC (http://www.mappingsegregationdc.org/).
Mara will join a DCCA Social Hour and make a presentation about the racially restrictive covenant on S street, its origins and its implications, leading to a discussion about this history of racial injustice and where it leaves us today.
All DCCA members were sent an email with a link to register for the event.
DCCA was pleased to have DCCA member and Dupont resident, Marc Langston, share some of his video history collection compiled for his YouTube channel ("The History Hat") at our July members social hour. Marc's presentation centered on his work documenting Dupont Circle's history and DCCA members shared in a lively conversation about neighborhood treasures, architecture, historic designations, and more. We are sharing a few highlights of the slides Marc presented here. Members who attended the event should look to their email boxes to receive the full presentation. As always - connecting with neighbors makes us DupontProud!
Click on DCCA's 2020 Pride Message.mp4 to hear a special message from the DCCA Board.
Check out the new configuration of 17th St between P and R Streets. This is a temporary arrangement under the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) plan to extend sidewalks near grocery stores and other essential retailers to allow pedestrians enough space to practice social distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.
The extended sidewalk allows extra space for shared biking and walking, and the eastern travel lane has been effectively converted to a loading, pick-up drop-off, and short-term parking zone, alleviating the chaotic double parking.
DCCA has been advocating to turn these blocks of 17th Street into a true shared street. This temporary arrangement gives us a nice taste of what a shared street could be. Thanks to ANC2B05 Commissioner Randy Downs for advocating for this sidewalk extension, and for the pictures.
Please see the joint statement from Graylin Presbury and Earl Williams, presidents of the DC Civic and Citizens Federations. The statement addresses the death of George Floyd and addresses the turmoil now happening in the city and across the nation as so many rise up in protest.
DCCA is a member of both organizations and fully supports the joint statement.
Click here and read the letter.
DCCA sent a letter to Council and the Mayor requesting an extension of the due date for residential property taxes.As part of the DC Council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences for the District, the Council voted to defer real property taxes for hotels and sales taxes for other businesses for 90 days. The bill contained a lot of relief for a lot of businesses as well as for the unemployed, renters, and others. Notably absent from the bill’s relief provisions was any relief for the District’s residential property owners.
In passing the relief bill last week, the Council also committed to making further relief available as needs became known. On March 27th DCCA sent a letter to Council to make known the needs of the District’s homeowners to have the 1st half of 2020 real estate taxes due on March 31, 2020 deferred for 90 days. While March 30 has now come and gone, we hope Council will provide some relief to homeowners as it considers additional measures in the future.
Click here to read the letter.
The Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) worked together with our friends at the Logan Circle Community Association (LCCA) to co-host a Candidate Forum so that residents could hear from all nine of the candidates running for the recently opened Ward 2 Council Seat.
DC political reporter Tom Sherwood and WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi moderated the forum which was held at the Foundry Church. The crowd filled the sanctuary of the Foundry Church and was often vocal in reaction to a lively and informative presentation of the candidates' viewpoints.
To view a video recording of the event click HERE - we will continue to compile coverage and news analysis of the event here:
Washington Post: Jack Evans asked for forgiveness after scandal. He got boos.
WTOP: Former DC council member Jack Evans requests forgiveness, second chance at candidate forum
WAMU: Facing Boos And Jeers, Disgraced Former D.C. Council Member Jack Evans Publicly Asks For Old Job Back
The GW Hatchett: Ward 2 Councilmember hopefuls contest transportation, homelessness at fourth debate
Georgetowner: Evans Wants Second Chance, Gets Boos
In February, DCCA Transportation Committee Chair, Susan Volman, submitted testimony to the DC Council’s Committee on Transportation seeking reconsideration of the proposed parking restriction in the non-peak, northbound direction of 16th Street NW between O and U Streets during the morning rush hour. The letter asks the Council Committee, in their oversight role, to direct DDOT to provide data on transit time savings for this proposed parking change, and to reconsider it, if it is not justified to improve bus transit on 16th Street.Click HERE to read the submission.
DCCA submitted a letter for the Mayor’s Agent hearing on the subdivision of the Masonic Temple lot. Lance Salonia, DCCA Regulatory Committee Chair will testify at this public hearing, which will be held on February 7, 2020 at 10 am at 1100 4th Street, SW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20024. Anyone who is concerned about the development at the Masonic Temple is urged to attend.
Click HERE to read the submission.
At the end of January the DCCA requested that ANC2B reestablish the Transportation and Public Infrastructure (TPI) Committee.
Click HERE to read the letter.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dupont Circle Citizens Association awards grants to organizations addressing homelessness in the Dupont Circle neighborhood
(January 6, 2020, Washington, DC) The Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA), the premier civic and residential organization in the Dupont Circle area, is pleased to announce that it has selected three (3) recipients to receive grants from a $100,000 fund created as a result of the settlement of litigation brought by DCCA related to the development at 1772 Church Street NW. The grants were designated for 501(c)(3) organizations addressing homelessness or affordable housing in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. The selected recipients are as follows:
Casa Ruby: This grant will enable Casa Ruby to do direct outreach, at least three days a week, to homeless LGBTQ youth in Dupont Circle to link them to Casa Ruby’s housing and other services. They will also provide outreach to homeless adults and refer them to city services as appropriate.
Foundry United Methodist Church: This grant will enable Foundry to increase the reach of and create new tools for their Imago Dei (I.D.) project, which assists homeless and low-income people obtain basic identification documents. The grant will also support Foundry’s work to provide clothing and hospitality to clients who seek assistance when they are released from incarceration, when they are victims of theft, as they deal with abusive relationships, and/or after they return from drug and alcohol treatment. This grant will allow Foundry to assist more individuals and develop digital tools that will allow other organizations to provide similar services.
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty: The grant will fund a collaboration between the National Law Center and Sasha Bruce Youthwork to sponsor a weekly drop-in center for homeless youth in Dupont Circle at which both legal services and support services will be available. The aim is not only to provide services but also to educate clients about their legal rights to empower them to advocate for themselves.
“DCCA is pleased that our grants will help address a critical and complex problem impacting our city and our neighborhood. The programs funded by our grants will provide much needed new or increased support to individuals who are experiencing homelessness in our community” said Glenn Engelmann, President of DCCA.
DCCA is honored to support these outstanding organizations and hopes that that our grants will have a tangible, positive impact for individuals and the Dupont Circle neighborhood.
About the Dupont Circle Citizens Association: Founded in 1922 in a townhouse at 1767 P Street, to promote and protect the interests of the residents, the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) is the premier civic and residential organization in the Dupont Circle area. DCCA brings neighbors, including residents, businesses and non-profit organizations, together to improve the quality of life in an active and diverse urban neighborhood. It holds membership meetings 9 times each year, which are open to the public, runs the Dupont Circle House Tour, helps to resolve neighborhood issues through its committees, donates to local causes, and incubates innovative projects.
For further information contact:
DCCA submitted comments on the section of the comprehensive plan that covers the Near Northwest region of the city, which includes Dupont Circle.
In those comments we emphasized that a revised plan should restore the key takeaways collected from community engagement sessions, as they remain priorities for Dupont Circle. We also recommended more specific and stronger language about affordable housing, pedestrian and bicycle safety, noise abatement in areas with a mixture of residential and entertainment venues, and building design in Dupont Circle.
DCCA's annual Members Only Resolutions Party that will be held on Monday January 13th at Ankara. We look forward to ringing in the New Year with food, beverages and fun at a favorite neighborhood eatery.
Annual memberships expire at year's end so please remember to join or renew your membership so that you can join this event!
Our regular monthly meetings will resume in February.
Thanks to all members who participated in our online membership survey. A brief overview of the results can be viewed by clicking here. Your feedback offered helpful insight and will help guide DCCA programming in 2020. Thanks to all who took the time to participate!
As reported at the November membership meeting, DCCA has been active in encouraging the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the DC Council to take sensible measures to ensure the safety of all users of our sidewalks and streets in light of hazards posed by the recently introduced dockless electric scooters.
In October, we submitted comments on DDOT’s “Dockless Bike and Scooter Share 2020” programmatic changes, and on November 4th, DCCA Board Member Marcy Logan testified before the DC Council’s hearing on “The Future of Micromobility in the District and B23-359.”
DDOT has issued its final report on the 20th/21st/22nd street bike lane project. We are pleased that the final plans for the project reflect the position of DCCA that the bike lane should be located primarily on 20th Street rather than the 21st Street option originally favored by DDOT. While there were strong views presented by members of the community throughout this process, we are pleased that ultimately the various segments of the community were able to rally around a plan which minimizes disruption to the community while at the same time allows for a much needed enhancement to the city. This is a great example of ANC2B and DCCA working towards a common goal. You can find the final DDOT report here: https://www.dccycletrack.com/20th21st22ndstnw.
Earlier this week, DCCA submitted comments to the Historic Preservation Review Board in opposition to the application to subdivide the lot upon which the historic landmarked Scottish Rite Temple, 1733 16th Street, NW, is situated. The application is part of the effort to construct a large apartment building behind the temple. DCCA believes that the proposal is contrary to the principles of historic preservation and that the proposed building should be reduced in size. Click here to download our submission.
At its May 23rd hearing, the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) decided to advance the proposed development behind the Masonic Temple. DCCA in several filings had raised serious concerns regarding the design of the development and the process by which HPRB proceeded with its review.
You can click to download DCCA’s submissions including, testimony opposing the height of the proposed development on the site of the landmarked Masonic Temple along with testimony supporting the landmark boundary expansion application and supplemental comments.
Lance Salonia, Chair of the DCCA Regulatory Committee testified in person at the hearing. Other community groups and members raised significant objections to the development. DCCA is disappointed with both the substance of HPRB’s decision and the process by which it was reached.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2019
Contact: Robin Diener, President Dupont Circle Citizens Assn, 202 431-9254, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marina Streznewski, President, Foggy Bottom Assn, 202 441-3744, email@example.com
Two Ward 2 Civic Groups Join Call for DC Council to Investigate Jack Evans
In a joint letter to DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, two Ward Two civic groups -- Dupont Circle Citizens Association and Foggy Bottom Association – issued support for the appointment of a special DC Council committee to investigate allegations of unethical actions surrounding Ward Two Councilmember Jack Evans. The groups also asked that Evans be removed from chairmanship of the Finance and Revenue Committee, as well as from the Judiciary Committee, pending the outcome of any investigations. The full text of the Associations’ joint statement is as follows (click here to download letter):
Dupont Circle Citizens Association and the Foggy Bottom Association are
deeply troubled by the allegations and recent news reports concerning
the conduct of Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans. The integrity of our
government is fundamental to our democracy. Given the questions raised
regarding CM Evans, we support the appointment of a special committee by
the DC Council to investigate the allegations and the Council taking
appropriate action based upon the findings of the investigation. Given
the seriousness of the allegations, we also urge the Council to remove
temporarily CM Evans from the Judiciary Committee and the chairmanship
of the Finance and Revenue Committee pending the outcome of the