The Spirit of Washington cruise boat struck the District's main fireboat today while the latter vessel was docked, gashing a 15-foot-hole in the fireboat and disabling it for the foreseeable future, fire officials said. There were no passengers aboard the 600-person cruise boat, and no one was injured in the 2 p.m. incident, along Pier 4 at 6th and Water streets SW, authorities said. The collision occurred as the four-person crew of the Spirit of Washington performed a routine maneuver to reposition the ship alongside the pier, said Sal Naso, vice president and general manager of the Spirit Cruises. "They were just turning it around," Naso said. "It's done a thousand times a year. We're obviously going to take care of the fire department." Naso said damage to the cruise boat was minimal. The company substituted another boat, the Spirit of Mount Vernon, for its scheduled dinner cruise. Alan Etter, spokesman for the District's Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department said the damage to the 70-foot John Glenn was "considerable." The gash was on the starboard side, above the water line, and will have to be fixed before it can be returned to service, he said.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Speaking of the South Capitol Street bridge, there will be an ANC 6D presentation meeting on Monday, February 2nd at 7pm, where DDOT will give a briefing on the new bridge design (and hopefully a timetable). The meeting will take place at 1501 Half Street.D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty wrote [DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes] Norton Jan. 7 with a list of priorities for stimulus spending that included school modernization, construction of a new police forensics lab, Medicaid matching funds, reconstruction of the Eleventh Street and South Capitol Street bridges, and [other] environmental and housing needs.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The MSNBC studio on the National Mall started broadcasting on Saturday, January 17th from 7th Street & Jefferson Drive. The studio has a window so passersby can see the broadcasters and guests, and it offers great views of the Capitol building from inside.
The We Are One concert, which officially kicked off inaugural activities, was held at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday. There were estimates by CNN that 750,000 people attended the free concert. I was standing east of 17th Street, which was outside of the security zone. Jumbotrons were installed so the large crowd could see the concert.
Several streets north of the SE-SW freeway were closed to vehicles on Inauguration Day. This photo was taken along D Street, in front of L'Enfant Plaza, where tour buses were parked and a crowd of people were trying to find their way to the Washington Monument around 10:30 AM, since by then the security zone at the National Mall was already closed. The WBJ reports that the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station was one of the more heavily used stations since it was one of the closest open stations to the Mall. According to a WMATA press release, January 20th broke the record for the amount of people who used Metrorail...1.12 million riders.
This photo was taken after the President gave his inaugural address and the crowd near the Washington Monument were leaving the National Mall. The Washington Post reports that an estimated 1.8 million people were gathered at the National Mall for the swearing-in ceremony, the largest crowd ever on the Mall.
National Guard troops were stationed in several spots to help with crowd control. This Humvee was parked along Maine Avenue near the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
This photo was taken at the intersection of 7th Street and G Street looking north on 7th, as spectators from the swearing-in ceremony were making their way back to buses or other modes of transit. Visible in the background of this photo is the new facade of Constitution Center.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
- On Saturday, January 17th, from 9 am - 4 pm, St. Augustine's Episcopal Church will be hosting an Americorps service project, which will include chili lunch (11 am) with 50-75 service volunteers from all over the country plus the DC clients that they serve. A keynote speaker, group discussion and a non-violent canvass through the Southwest DC neighborhood with the mayor’s office, a safety patrol, and Guardian Angels will follow this. This event is a direct response to Obama’s call for a National Day of Service. RSVP to 202-554-3222. St Augustine's is located at 600 M Street.
- On Sunday, January 18th, two events will take place at Zanzibar, located at 700 Water Street. The first is an event called All for Africa & Africare: A Celebration of Unity Inaugural Event. The event will be from 9pm-2am and ticket prices range from $75 - $500. See the website for more information. The other event is called the Mambo for Obama Ball, from 8pm - 5am. Ticket prices range from $75 - $250. Here's a link to the event's website.
- Also on Sunday, the Air & Space Museum on Independence Avenue will be the location of The California Bash. However, this event is already sold out.
- The Oklahoma State Society will host a reception at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian on Independence Avenue from 7-9pm. This event is FREE, but a RSVP is required.
- There's a Champagne Reception at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art at 950 Independence Avenue from 7-11pm. Tickets are $175 and here's a phone number for more information: 877-CHN-0844.
- The Land of Enchantment Inaugural Ball will be held at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian from 7-10pm. Unfortunately, this event is sold out.
- The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, located at 1330 Maryland Avenue, will be the venue for the Pearl Gala from 7pm-12am. This event, however, is sold out. (To the right is a photo of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel taken in October 2008)
- The South Carolina Presidential Inaugural Ball will be held at the Air & Space Museum starting at 8pm. This event is sold out.
- The Young & Powerful Black Tie Gala and Awards Ceremony will take place at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel starting at 8pm. Tickets cost $125.
- On January 20th (Inauguration Day), there will be a service of Morning Prayer from 8:30- 9am at St. Augustine's.
- The Hawai'i State Society is having their Inaugural Ball at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. If you're looking for a ticket for President-Elect Obama's home state ball, sorry, this event is already sold out.
- The Living the Dream Inaugural Ball will be held on January 20th at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel on 480 L'Enfant Plaza. Tickets are $250. (To the right is a photo of the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel taken in December 2008)
- The 2009 Florida Inaugural Celebration will take place at the National Museum of the American Indian, starting at 7pm. Tickets cost $200, and call (703) 905-9838 for more information.
- On Saturday, January 24th, from 3 – 5pm, St. Augustine’s will end Inauguration week by hosting a community event, “MLK and Our Century”, a multifaceted tribute to the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. featuring actor-filmmaker Michael Mack and a diverse panel of well-known artists, activists, politicians and educators. The event will begin with "The Drum Major,” a 20-minute live documentary written, directed by and featuring Mack as “The Voice of Dr. King” and followed by a panel discussion of this historic presidency and current events with Dr. King’s values in mind.
30' setbacks, shatter-resistant windows, and a lobby designed to blow air pressure outward during a blast. Trammell can lease each building as an individual facility or combine Phases II and III into one, which is what they proposed to DoJ before it landed in NoMa.
Monday, January 12, 2009
The following access points have been identified as pedestrian-only routes to the National Mall:
- E Street, NE from Massachusetts Avenue, NE to 3rd Street, NW
- 7th Street, SW from D Street, SW to Independence Avenue, SW
- 19th Street, NW from K Street, NW to DuPont Circle, NW
- 3rd Street Tunnel (I-395) from New York Avenue, NW to SE/SW Freeway
- Arlington Memorial Bridge from Virginia, around Lincoln Circle to Independence Avenue, SW
- East Capitol Street, NE to North Carolina, SE to New Jersey Avenue, SE to I Street, SE [continue until 7th Street, SW to Independence Avenue, SW
The U.S. Coast Guard says it has approved water taxi service from Virginia to D.C. on Inauguration Day. The Inaugural Water Taxi will be provided by the Potomac Riverboat Co., for $90 roundtrip or $50 one way. The taxi will depart from the Alexandria City Marina at Union and Cameron streets in Old Town Alexandria and arrive at the Southwest Waterfront's Pier 4, at 600 Water St. in D.C.
Both sites are within walking distance of the Inaugural festivities and will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. A limited number of commemorative valet claim checks and spoke cards will be offered to cyclists who use the valets. WABA says the service will operate like a car valet. “You simply ride up to the valet, a volunteer will attach one half of a claim ticket to your bike and hand you the other half,” said Henry Mesias, the project manager at WABA. “The volunteer will then park the bike in a safe enclosure while you head off to enjoy the Inauguration. When you want to leave, you show us your half of the claim check and we get you your bike and you ride off. It’s quite simple.” The sidewalks on all bridges over the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers will be open to bicyclists and pedestrians, and the Memorial Bridge will be dedicated to bicyclists and pedestrians. Cyclists coming from Arlington, Alexandria, Southeast and Southwest DC can use the valet station at the Jefferson Memorial, while riders from the north can use the station at 16th and K Streets, NW.
Here's a link to WABA's website describing the bike valet service.
By Metro: According to the WMATA website, Metrorail will be running rush hour service on Inauguration Day from 4am to 9pm and commemorative passes & SmarTrip cards are available for purchase. The Smithsonian Metro station will be closed, so the closest Southwest stations to the National Mall will be L'Enfant Plaza and Federal Center SW. Those stations serve all rail lines, except for the Red Line. (The above map shows the Metro stations and bus routes near the National Mall, from the WMATA website)
Southeastern University, which has dealt with financial and enrollment troubles for years, is close to picking the school that would absorb it. The University of the District of Columbia recently voiced its interest in taking over the university. “We are entertaining proposals from interested parties for a possible merger in order to strengthen our ability to meet our mission efforts,” said J.R. Clark, board chairman of Southeastern, which offers a two-year associate’s degree. “UDC is one of the many institutions that has provided us with a proposal.” Allen Sessoms, who was named president of UDC in August 2008, has said that early stages of his tenure would include creating a community college within the university. Southeastern’s merger committee has been collecting proposals that the board will have the opportunity to weigh in on and review Wednesday at its board of directors meeting.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Stevens: The Capitol Riverfront BID was approved by the District Council in July 2007 and by Executive Order of the Mayor on July 8, 2007. We have been officially in existence and issuing the BID tax for one year and six months. The BID began as a planning process with property owners and stakeholders that started in June 2006 after I approached area stakeholders about the possibility of and the need for creating a BID for this area. I was hired by property owners as a consultant to lead the planning process that involved numerous public meetings that focused on issues confronting the area, the proposed boundaries, the type of BID tax, the necessary budget, etc. I worked with property owners and other stakeholders over an 11 month period before submitting the full application to become a BID to the city in May 2007.
Southwest...TLQTC: What kinds of services does the BID provide?
Stevens: The Capitol Riverfront BID provides the following services:
• Clean Teams that maintain the public realm and keep it trash free
• Hospitality/Safety Ambassadors that provide assistance, directions and answer questions from employees, visitors and residents
• Marketing, PR and branding initiatives for the entire 500 acre BID and its development dynamic
• Economic development activities that include business attraction efforts for office, retail and residential uses; infrastructure and access planning; small area plans; and planning for streetscape/landscape systems
• Special events and community building activities including a weekly, seasonal farmers market with DOT; summertime concerts; summertime outdoor movies; and a Holiday Market in December
• Advocacy and educational outreach to DC decision makers on behalf of our property owners, tenants and residents
• Information and database development and research services
• The maintenance and programming of two new parks – the 5 acre Riverfront Park and the 2 acre Canal Park – once they are opened in 2010
Stevens: If some office attraction efforts are successful, you may see the development of a secure office campus for a federal agency or two. Otherwise, with the current economic downturn, we may not see development activity in that area for another 5-7 years.
Southwest...TLQTC: Speaking of Southwest…will the Capitol Riverfront BID eventually expand to include other areas of Southwest, including the Southwest Waterfront and Waterfront Station?
Stevens: I have spoken to the Hoffman team about that possibility and I think it might be best for a new BID to be created that would address the area that includes Waterfront Station, Arena Stage, the SW Waterfront project, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and perhaps some of the office in the SW Federal Center. It seems that that area will have a different development dynamic and destination qualities from our BID that would warrant the creation of a new BID.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Southwest Waterfront Redevelopment Advances
- Housing – approximately 770 residential units with 30% being affordable housing.
- Cultural – a Maritime Center showcasing the region’s maritime history through a variety of educational, entertainment, and cultural exhibits
- Hotel – Three new hotels
- Office – Significant Class A commercial office space
- Neighborhood amenities – neighborhood-serving retail such as a gourmet grocery, casual and upscale dining, cafes, jazz venues, shops and opportunities for local, small retailers
- Parks – Acres of quality public parks, open space, and waterfront promenades throughout the project
- Water-focused development – significant improvements to the existing marina and pier facilities, water taxis and public piers
- Sustainable Design – the first LEED-Silver certified mixed-use project in the city and a LEED-ND Pilot Project
- Significant Certified Business Enterprises (CBE) – participation in all aspects of the project, including ownership and development
Groundbreaking of the new Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater occurred in January 2008. Since then, the new cradle theater has risen to its maximum height on the north side of the construction site. Canadian architect Bing Thom designed the new Arena Stage with a transparent exterior with three theaters connected together by a common lobby and a cantilevered roof. While Arena Stage is under construction, performances have moved to Crystal City and the Lincoln Theater. Arena Stage should be reopened in time for the 2010-11 season.
(The above photo is the 6th Street frontage of Arena Stage under construction in November 2008)
(The above rendering is of the Randall School site, courtesy of Monument Realty)
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will temporarily close the eastbound ramp to the 12th Street Tunnel as part of the ongoing rehabilitation of the 11th Street Bridge in Southwest. The ramp will be closed nightly between 7:30 pm and 4:30 am, beginning on Friday, January 9, 2009, and ending on Monday, January 12, 2009, weather permitting. Traffic coming across the Francis Case Memorial (14th Street) Bridge from Virginia will be required to take an alternate route. Motorists can go north on 14th Street to get downtown, or take the L’Enfant Plaza exit to D Street, SW. Detour signs will direct them to 7th Street.