Archive for June 9, 2009

Lost Washington: the Savoy Theater

Posted in Beaux Arts, Columbia Heights, Lost Washington, Theaters with tags , , on June 9, 2009 by Kent

Savoy facadeThe Savoy was originally built in the Colonial Revival style in 1913 near the intersection of 14th Street and Columbia Rd., NW. In 1916, the Savoy Theater company sold the building to Harry M. Crandall, Washington’s early movie mogul. The Savoy was his fourth theater, Crandall’s goal being to have a movie house in every Washington neighborhood.

After purchasing the Savoy, Crandall closed the theater for two months for extensive renovations. When he reopened in September of 1916, and after spending several thousand dollars more, the changes were reported as being so radical, with decorations so elaboration both inside and out, that patrons familiar with the old theater had a hard time believing the new Beaux Arts inspired structure was the same place. Continue reading

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Vintage Ride of the Week: 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air

Posted in Vintage Vehicles with tags , on June 9, 2009 by Kent

1955 Chevy Bel AirThe “all new” 1955 Chevrolet was offered with “Motoramic” styling, improved handling and a new V8. Chevrolet matched smooth handling with it’s new performance by modifying the chassis to be longer, and added wider rear springs riding outside the frame rails, diagonally mounted shock absorbers to match, and an improved “Glide Ride” suspension. America took to the new 1955 Chevrolet 150, 210 and Bel Air (From OldRide.com, which has more information).

(Also, thanks to Wayan for initially tipping me of to this classic)1955 Chevrolet Bel Air1955 Chevrolet Bel Air

Petworth Community Effort to Replace RCCR Street Trees

Posted in City Services, Nature & Wildlife, Petworth with tags , , , , on June 9, 2009 by Kent

One of the newest residents of Rock Creek Church Road (RCCR) in Petworth is making a huge impact. In the short time he and his wife have lived in their home, Rob Mandle has shown a community spirit that’s unheard of.

Rock Creek Church Road Tree Survey His latest project involves replacing the dead and missing street trees on RCCR between Park Place and Webster. In addition to working with Carol Herwig and Casey Trees, Rob has been able to rally no fewer than ten households willing to participate with time, hoses, and water to keep new trees well cared for and healthy.

The vast majority of the missing trees are along the narrow easement along the Old Soldiers’ Home, between the sidewalk and the street.

In the effort to replace the lost tree canopy, Rob put together the map included here, which identifies that there are approximately 21 existing empty tree pits and 1 with a dead tree in it. While replacing the trees will naturally add beauty, there is the additional impact of helping to address the issue of speeding along RCCR by tapping the natural tenancy of drivers to react to a narrowing or constricted right-of-way (tunnel effect).

Lastly, tree replacement would contribute to Mayor Fenty’s efforts to increasing the urban tree canopy within the District to 40%, part of the City’s Green DC Agenda.

DDOT Begins Construction on Major Section of Metropolitan Branch Trail

Posted in City Services with tags , , on June 9, 2009 by Kent

I just received the following DDOT announcement which I think it great. If you’re a big user of the city’s many trails, you already know that they don’t all link up as nicely as they could. The Metropolitan Branch Trail aims to solve some of this, making it easier to bike, jog, etc. — whether for recreation or as your preferred route to work. The news release is as follows:

MBT(Washington, D.C.) Today, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Director Gabe Klein kicked off construction on a new section of the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT), a proposed 8-mile multi-use trail that will stretch from Silver Spring to Union Station, connecting the Capital Crescent Trail, the Anacostia Tributaries Trail System and the National Mall.  The new construction section marks a milestone in creating a continuous trail from Catholic University to downtown DC.

“This is a fantastic step forward in transforming the District into a pedestrian and bicycle friendly city,” said Mayor Fenty. “When this trail is completed, walkers and bikers won’t have to compete with cars on our busiest streets – residents will have access to a trail that leads them through the heart of the city.” Continue reading

Unrealized Dreams: Renwick’s Unsuccessful Design Submission of 1846

Posted in Gothic Revival, Mall (The), Museums, Renwick, James (1818-1895) with tags , , , , , on June 9, 2009 by Kent

Smithsonian Design Renwick
(Image from Smithsonian Institution)

Bridge on South Dakota @ Vista 65% Completed

Posted in City Services with tags , , , on June 9, 2009 by Kent

South Dakota Avenue bridge constructionIt dawned on me Sunday as I was on South Dakota Ave. that the bridge over the CSX tracks near the intersection of Vista seems to be taking a long time to complete. It looks like they are nearly done with the souteast bound traffic, but they haven’t started the northwest bound side of the bridge yet.

So, I looked it up. According to DDOT, the project is 65% completed. It was started on March 12, 2007 and is scheduled to be completed on June 30, 2010, with a total cost of $619,732.

It looks good, and I’m glad they are doing a quality job, but, I don’t see how they are going to get 45% done in a year if they continue at the rate they have been.

Public Sculpture on 19th Street.

Posted in Sculpture with tags , on June 9, 2009 by Kent

I could use a little help here. I saw this biomorphic/abstract sculpture outside of 1020 19th Street, and it wasn’t labeled. Can anyone help identify it?

I actually think its rather attractive. As I walked around it, the angles and voids kept changing which really intrigued me.Sculpture at 1020 19th StreetAbstract sculptureAbstract sculpture at 1020 19th Street