BRMS Applies for Community Grants

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Repairs to 8th Street Sought

The streetscape on Barracks Row, installed in 2003-04, has begun to show the effects of its own popularity. Ten years ago Barracks Row Main Street petitioned the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) for the funds that added brick sidewalks, new trees, and historic lampposts to the corridor, but it’s clear now that the Row needs maintenance. We documented over 120 issues that need repair, most involving broken pavers and broken or missing bricks.

Help may arrive soon in the form of a grant from DDOT. The thinking in 2008, as the ballpark was completed, was that with the arrival of throngs of fans, season after season would be willing to pay special game-day rates at DC’s programmable parking meters, a part of this windfall should be shared with nearby neighborhoods that would experience the wear and tear of 81 annual home games.

Authored by Charles Allen and sponsored by Tommy Wells, the “Performance Parking Pilot Zone Act” was passed in 2008, and DDOT has been setting aside a portion of ballpark meter monies ever since to be distributed to affected neighborhoods. The funds may only be used for non-automotive projects. This year local groups including BRMS, the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, and the advisory neighborhood commission (ANC) were invited by DDOT to submit competitive proposals for the grant money.

Second Grant Request – Reinstall Tree Boxes

There is also a second Performance Parking Fund project requested by BRMS, a logical extension of our application for money for sidewalk repairs. This is to re-install the tree box surrounds that were once an integral part of historic 8th Street SE. When the new streetscape was completed, the original tree box surrounds were removed and never seen again.

DDOT has not revealed yet which grant proposals will be selected, but neighbors as well as ANC 6B are all rooting for our projects.Chis Hutson, who lives nearby, observes that“having broken bricks and muddy sidewalks on such a landmark street as Barracks Row … looks like we don't care about our neighborhood.” Longtime 9th Street resident Anne Seymour noted, “I fondly recall the elegant tree surrounds on Barracks Row. Our neighborhood is known for its beautiful gardens, and Barracks Row has the opportunity with new tree surrounds to switch from dirt and mud puddles, to become a showcase.”

GWellness Foundation Grant for Virginia Avenue Community Garden

BRMS is currently applying for a grant authored by the GWellness Foundation - managed by students in the Human Services at George Washington University -  for the Virginia Avenue Community Garden, located at the terminus of Virginia Ave. and 9th Street, SE. Tragically the Garden's shed was vandalized and many tools were stolen, and the Garden's rainwater harvesting system is in need of an upgrade. The grant application will hopefully give them a larger, more secure shed as well as a new and improved method to water their garden sustainably. 

The Garden has 60+ plots, and benefits many residents of the neighborhood. They host seminars on gardening to local scout groups and schools, routinely donate part of their harvest and funds to the local non-profit 'So Others Might Eat,' and even have fruit trees bordering their garden that anyone can pick from. The awarding of this grant would fund great additions to the garden and help spread healthy and sustainable practices in the neighborhood!

Public comment period ends - Task Force meeting 2-26

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The end of January brings to a close the the public comment period on the two Master Plans developed for the Eastern Market Metro Park. However, if you have late breaking ideas, there is still a way! Any comments left on the project website between February 1 and February 15 will be reviewed by the design team.

Project designers are definitely open to mixing and blending ideas from the two Master Plans. You can leave comments on the project blog (orange button on website) or leave a comment directly on one of the Master Plans. It's also ok to go old school and just make a sketch on paper. All comments and sketches can be emailed This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or dropped off at the Barracks Row office at 731 8th Street, SE, Suite 201 or sent by US mail. Finally, you have the option to call us between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and tell us your vision - we will make notes and pass on your comments to the design team.

The next EMMP task force meeting will be held at Hill Center on February 26 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The project task force is responsible for giving direction to the design team.

Eastern Market Metro Park interactive website updates now complete

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The interactive website for the Eastern Market Metro Plaza website was updated earlier today:

The project website is fully interactive with four ways to provide feedback, including a transportation survey.  The updated site is an easy, user friendly way to learn about the project and to send comments.

You can even comment directly on the designs for two different Master Plans via "sticky notes" which can be created and dropped wherever your comment applies. A Transportation Survey is available to record your feedback on a number of pedestrian safety issues coming out of earlier community meetings. The entire power point presentation made to the community in December is on the site for review.

You can also comment by going to the project blog from the website; plus, by going to the Archives tab you can access all the past comment history. The comment period will be open until mid-January.

The comments from the community will be used by the Eastern Market Metro Park Task Force to direct the design team in the next phase of design development.

Eastern Market Metro Park Website Update

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Due to the complexities of coding, thoroughly testing all links, and the reality of our web designer's holiday travel, the go-live date for the updated Eastern Market Metro Plaza project website is now Monday, December 23. The public comment period has been extended and will close on January 17th not January 10th.

We encourage everyone in the community to take the Transportation Survey on the project website and to leave comments on all design plans as soon as the site goes live. The Eastern Market Metro Park Task Force will convene in early 2014 to review the results of the community's comments on Concepts A and B as well as the Transportation Survey and comments left on the project blog.  After reviewing all community input, the task force will give further direction to the design team.

The general study area for the project is the public land shown in the aerial photograph below which labels each of the parcels with a number.  At the community meetings held on December 8th and 11th the design team presented two alternative conceptual master plans for the parcels. These are titled Concept A (Bosque) and Concept B (Library) - the word in parenthesis refers to the defining feature of each Concept's Parcel #4 design.

Also below are two birdseye views - one of each of the two Concepts. These views show Parcel #1 in the foreground and Parcel # 4 in the distance. The view is looking southwest toward the Metro station canopy.

Concepts A (Bosque) and B (Library) as well as the Transportation Survey will be available at by December 23.

Eastern Market Metro Plaza Study Area by Numbered Parcels

Concept A (Bosque)  - Parcel #1 in foreground;  Parcel #4 with METRO canopy in distance

Concept B (Library) - Parcel #1 in foreground; Parcel # 4 in distance with entrance pavillion

to a proposed below grade expansion of the Southeast Branch Library

Community Meetings - Eastern Market Metro Plaza/Park

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Community Meetings - Eastern Market METRO Plaza/Park

Sunday, 12/8 - 1:30PM - 3:30PM

Wednesday 12/11 - 7:00PM - 9:00PM

For the past three months, a design team, led by architect Amy Weinstein (Essocoff & Associates) and landscape architect Lisa Delplace (Oheme van Sweden) has been hard at work developing two alternative Master Plan concepts for all of the publicly owned land along Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, between 7th and 9th Streets, including the area around the Eastern Market METRO Station. The overall goal of the project is to renew and upgrade the public space in this two block area, both functionally and aesthetically.

At two public meetings in early December at the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE), the design team will present to the community its two alternative Master Plan concepts.The first meeting will be held on Sunday afternoon, December 8th from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Arts Room. The second meeting will be on Wednesday evening, December 11th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Lincoln Room. The presentation and format of both the December 8th and December 11th sessions will be identical. After the design plans are presented, there will be breakout sessions to get feedback from the community. Both meetings are open to the entire Capitol Hill community and all are encouraged to attend one of the two meetings.

Subsequent to the December presentations, the drawings will be posted to the project website - and comments can be submitted through the website until Friday, January 10th.

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Barracks Row Main Street is a designated DC Main Streets commercial district.  Barracks Row Main Street is funded in part by the Department of Small and Local Business Development.