This is a reposting of an old post from 2007. For some odd reason I was thinking about when historic districting goes south and remembered this case.
Long story short, artist Laura Elkins and John Robbins were getting on the Historic Preservation Office’s (HPO) and DCRA’s bad side and it resulted in a search warrant of their home, where they were living. The incident got some press. It attracted my attention. And it worked its way through the courts. Leagle has a pretty good summary of the case.
Thanks Ray for pointing out an article in the Washington Times [dead link] (as I hardly ever read that paper) of a couple who won a lawsuit against the DC government for a raid on their home, unlawful seizure of papers from said home, regarding perceived Historic Preservation violations.
A little Google search regarding the saga reveals differing opinions on if the couple actually did the HPRB dance correctly, which is not the matter that makes me fearful, it was the police raid of their home that concerns my little libertarian heart. The portion of the 4th amendment the violation in this is “no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
According to the lawsuit [pdf] a March 26, 2003 warrant was issued to search the home of Ms. Elkins and Mr. Robbins, but the warrant didn’t say anything about seizing papers or the like. The next day DC’s finest and DCRA “officials went throughout the home (including the
bedrooms of sick children home from school), opening drawers, observing, and taking photos.”
Seriously, this is just supposed to be about exterior crap, not worthy of a f*ing raid. One of the few things I agree with the pro-Historic District people on is that HDs are about the outside aesthetics of house, and what can be observed from the street, etc, etc. However, this, is something else. Investigate the case for yourself, decide if DC went too far a violated a family’s privacy and order.
On the bright side, Ms. Elkins, an artist, has turned her experience into art.
I don’t feel like writing a big intro. I had this piece of paper in my pile. It isn’t Shaw history. It isn’t Truxton Circle history. It’s a letter and a table list from January 1920 from the estate of George N. Beale.
Okay I had to look at the old Shaw map to figure out if this was in Mount Vernon Square or Shaw or both. The answer is both. The Mount Vernon Square historical district overlaps with parts of Shaw.
The the other question was, “Is this the church on New Jersey Ave?” Yup, 3rd Street, New Jersey Ave, same diff apparently. That little section between Morgan and New York Avenue, has northbound traffic going on New Jersey and southbound traffic on 3rd Street.
I got excited when I discovered this map from 1938. It is a hand drawn map of Southwest DC, much of which really doesn’t exist anymore. What it shows are negro and white commerical and residential areas as well as black occupied alley dwellings. Demographic info is so cool. I find it facinating because it further chips away at the ideas I had about Southern segregation. I always imagined it as very distinct, blacks on one side of town, whites on another and you won’t find one in the other’s neighborhood. My own (on again/ off again) study of Truxton Circle and this map shows a little mixture. The brown represents Afro-American street facing residences, black for black alley dwellings, and the yellow for white street facing residents. There are a few all yellow blocks, but there are plenty of yellow and black blocks, and yellow/ black/ brown blocks. The blue os commerical space.
I wanted to quickly mention it before it went stale in my head. Georgetown Metropolitan has some stats on Georgetown crime. I found it interesting because everyso often people compare Shaw (or where ever they are in DC) to Georgetown, making it out to be some crime-free wonderland. It ain’t. If you want low crime get your butt to Palisades. Which I forget where exactly that is, and I bet some of you never heard of it. The most interesting thing is Georgetown has more theft from autos and more burglaries per 1,000 residents than Dupont and Columbia Heights. What Georgetown is low in, are those crimes where one encounters the criminal.
Yesterday I wandered over to 3rd Street NW to admire the history. Please note this house, the chain link fence, the history! Some folks know the significance of this house, which currently is a private home from all indications. So please do not harass the occupants. Up until a few days ago I had passed the house on a few occasions without noting its importance. Then one day I was cleaning off my desk at work and there was this brochure for the National Archives’ Regional Archives- Southeast Region in Morrow, GA. As objects of interest they had on the brochure national registration cards for notables who at the time probably weren’t that notable when they filled out the card. Of the five cards there are the names and then current addresses for Huey Long, Jr., George Herman Ruth, James E. Carter, and Harry Houdini. And also some guy named Ed who lived on 3rd Street. —- The house was one of several homes occupied by Edward Kennedy Ellington, also known as Duke Ellington. He was 19 when living at the house pictured.
From the Shaw Neighborhood Yahoo Group via the GLLU Newsletter (gllunewsletter@ gllu.org):
On 5/25/09, at approximately 2:30 a.m., members of the First District responded to a call for an assault in the area of the 600 block of K Street, N.W. According to the victim, he walked in the area confront the prostitutes in his neighborhood. As he was admonishing them, one of the women, who the victim described as a male-to-female Transgender individual, grabbed him between his legs and made sexual advances towards him. The suspect fled the scene prior to the officer’s arrival, however her identity is known. The victim was not injured.
I had thought the development round there had removed some of the gals from the area, I guessed wrong. But then again I’m not over there at 2AM. The lesson here is keep a safe distance from the working girls, they fight back.
I thought I took a picture but apparently, no. Yesterday I spotted signage on 418 7th Street stating that the noodle chain I fell in love with in London will be coming in 2010. Better yet, it will be close enough and priced about right to make a regular lunch spot.
Once again no body entered my contest. When you realize how easy it was you’ll kick yourself. It was:
Here’s the question, what is the address of a Ridge Street NW house that is still standing today but in 1940 was listed as “old and in poor condition” or “poor condition”?
473 Ridge Street NW is up for sale for $379K. In 1940 it’s assessed value was $1,557, and described as “1 2 story frame, 4 rooms; no improvements; very old and in poor condition.” The house pictured is 425 Ridge Street. In 1940 for 425-425 1/2 Ridge Street the assessed value was $3,732. The description read as follows, “2 2 story bricks, divided into 2 3-room apartments or flats each; no improvements except inside water; old and in poor condition.” The monthly rental for it was $70 and it held 4 families, a total of 19 persons.
So seriously the only Ridge Street houses NOT described as being old and in poor or terrible condition were, 413, 457, 475, 458, 438, 440, 442, and 444. 458 was a blacksmith’s shop and garage, so it wouldn’t have mattered.
There have been cars blocking one land of traffic since I came into work and many are still there. On my way to Momiji I saw what I guess are catering trucks or vague vendors with snacks and coffee outside the Starbucks. When I asked a friend what was the commotion he said that Angelina Jolie is filming something at the Navy Memorial. CAN ANYONE CONFIRM? The only thing I can confirm is there is a film crew, and a big crowd at the Archives Navy Memorial metro station.