Friday, September 23, 2016

Local News Brief: History Fans Edition


The Historic Preservation Office recommended that the Historic Preservation Review Board designate portions of the Florida Avenue Market as a historic district.

Granville's (1238 H St.) celebrates DC Beer Week with a Drunk History event on Thursday Sept. 29 (7 p.m. to 10 p.m.). Start the evening off with live comedy, followed by two acts of Drunk History of H Street.

Gallaudet University (800 Florida Ave.) announced that they welcomed their incoming largest class of the 21st century this fall with 358 new students.


Anonymous said...

The small business owners in the market were at the last ANC 5D meeting. The NGO from over in NW that submitted paperwork to make the market a historic district has not talked to them at all. They need information on what the implications for them are. While many other buildings have been bought up by big development companies, the small biz owners are vulnerable as they don't have information on what that means for their building upkeep/maintenance/etc. It will hit them hardest and there has been no outreach or information. They are hoping for a delay in the vote so they can get answers they need and understand what it will mean for them and if they will be able to remain in business there. The video from the meeting was not up on youtube last I checked but if you are interested in this issue that will be a section to watch when they have been posted.

totally poo'd out said...

but, does it really matter if the small business owners in the market have any concerns? i mean, more important (and probably better educated) people have decided that the designated area is of historical importance and should be protected from any modifications/adulterations/improper paint jobs. they will have to deal with the inevitable march of regress, just like the rest of us. much of georgetown is historical, and just look at how they're thriving! i just don't get why small business owners should have any say. it's not like they have any acumen or anything!

Anonymous said...

The city has reached perfection and nothing must ever change. Market forces are inappropriate. The best use for the space is whatever it's currently being used for. There are no problems causedby restricting supply.

Anonymous said...

gotta save those cinderblock shanties!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that this is a push from the developers who actually own most of the larger plots now? Here's my conspiracy theory:

1. They have several lots they cannot obtain, for whatever reason
2. They make these plots "historic" which lowers the value of properties because they will cost more to build out & current rent will be less.
3. They eventually purchase the lots, and then can build because of their better ability to sway the historic review process

Am I off?

Anonymous said...

At Anon 3:40 - love the conspiracy theories. Edens actually had someone at the meeting as well. They did not file the paperwork and didn't seem to know the NGO over in Dupont that did. They all just want a delay so they can be informed and involved in the process. Doesn't seem like there is any reason not to delay and let them do so unless you are totally poo'd out.

Poo'd said...

Also, I was being a bit sarcastic. lol

Richard Layman said...

it's not good to see parochialism in the thread. But sadly not a surprise. That an organization with a citywide mission happens to be based in the NW quadrant and using that as a pejorative is called "argument to the person" in expository/logical writing and is considered a fallacious argument.

Plus, why wouldn't an organization with a historic preservation mission, the equivalent of a state historic preservation group in a state, not be interested in or involved in such a matter.

WRT, "being more involved," etc., about 13 years ago, as part of the Amtrak MAGLEV study, a determination was made that much of the market district was eligible for designation. And companies like EDENS likely have a strong due diligence team when they make acquisitions. It's not like anyone familiar with real estate transactions in a center city wouldn't be aware of this possibility.

FWIW, wrt historic preservation and "the small businesses" they are far more likely to be able to remain in business with a historic district status mostly preventing the eradication of the buildings that they're in, than the case if and when buildings are demolished, replaced with new buildings, constructed at current costs with rents priced at current prevailing rates ($50+/s.f.).

I'd be curious as to what the participants in the thread think about the Uline...

Richard Layman said...

whoops, meant to include the point that there is a notification process as part of the process of filing and hearing a nomination, so the property owners (not necessarily the tenants) did get notice at a certain point, so they can't claim that they didn't know.

Anonymous said...

Historic should mean more than just old. What historically significant event took place there? What architecture are we preserving? This is just ridiculous and it's unfair to the property owners because it destroys the value of their properties. Especially in this case.

Richard Layman said...

Historic means a lot of things, not just "particularly memorable events." As an example of an business food market district, the area qualifies for designation, as was determined 13 years ago during the Amtrak MAGLEV study.

WRT "property values", not sure if you are the person who wrote above. Yes, property value will be constrained. That will reduce the value of the property while simultaneously increasingly the ability of small business owners to conduct business activities in those buildings. It increases the likelihood of a variegated built environment in the city, etc.

There are a variety of identity and competitive advantage reasons for going forward with such a nomination. The Italian Market in Philadelphia is similarly interesting and distinctive and worth saving, with a very similar history etc. It adds value to that city's built environment, just as those buildings have the potential to do so in DC.

From an 11 year old post, which is equally relevant to this:

I would argue that there are two basic levels of consideration for historic designation. One has to do with buildings of a high level of significance, i.e., George Washington slept here; Colden Florence designed it; Malcolm X was shot here; Rosa Parks made her stand here; John F. Kennedy had sex there; etc. ...

The other is the preservation of the nexus of place, architecture, and social, cultural, and/or economic history. This as you know is the basic justification of the creation of neighborhood historic districts. The average building in such a district doesn't merit designation on its own. What matters is the power and beauty and coherence of the whole.