Just A Cool (Sad) Photo


This is the back to the row of houses on 9th Street that have been boarded up forever near Shiloh Baptist Church. For some reason I was really taken with this view. Think they’ll ever get fixed up?

17 Comment

  • There are a lot of people asking that same question (whether they will get fixed up).

  • Since the 1990’s, Shiloh has been making public claims about how it intends to develop these properties into affordable senior housing. They float around renderings from time to time of what they want to build. But given the recent internal strife at the church, the church beurocracy, the economy, the fact that good affordable senior housing is being built as part of the O Street Market development, the fact that one of the buildings that they need to pull off their plan is not owned by Shiloh, etc., I am not holding my breath.

    Shiloh barely maintains its inhabited buildings as it is. Awnings are broken and faded, weeds permeate the flower beds, the family life center is threadbare, the daycare center looks depressed, etc. The idea that they could maintain and run a quality senior center
    is a joke. Hopefully someone inside will realize this and get the church to sell these properties so the community will suffer no longer.

  • See my comment from y’day about Howard. Shiloh will never sell these buildings. They know that if they sell the buildings, mostly gentrifiers will move in. These gentrifiers won’t be members of their church. The next step will be they will be complaining about parking. Then Shiloh’s members (mostly from MD) will go to a church that is not as difficult to get in and out of. That would signal the end for Shiloh as a viable business (er… church) in the city. That is why they won’t sell. They are already facing alot of pressure from the clubs (be Bar) and the yuppie restaurants (Vegetate). They fought Vegetate (which ironically has some minority ownership) tooth and nail for their liquor license.

  • I hope the city is charging the 5% vacant property tax rate, b/c these are truly a blight. If the church is tax-exempt or otherwise exempt from this, I think we need to seriously re-examine our policies toward this type of behavior. I am all for people practicing whatever religion they wish, but I call shenanigans on this nonsense.

  • My understanding is the property in Shaw that is owned by churches (including some well-maintained market rate apartments that generate decent income and PLENTY of vacant buildings) is tax exempt. But I would love to be corrected if I’m wrong…

  • Good luck on the 5% tax for vacant property. Shaw residents have been fighting them for years. Lot of dissension in that church as they ar epaying a lot of money in taxes on vacant buildings. Some of the members want the church to sell. Others want the church to hold to keep the yuppies (read: whites) out. The shame of it all is that the vacant properties lead to a reduction in the quality of life (drug addicts, squalor, rats) not just for the newcomers, but the old residents as well.
    The city invested hundreds of millions in the convention center. Yet, the church is the impediment to that neighborhood turning around.

  • So is that Shiloh red? Better red than whitey…

  • Even if whitey is a bunch of totally progressive, hip, anti-racist types, it still doesn’t matter.

  • Is that Hamsterdam?

  • shiloh is, in general, a bunch of backwards looking racists.

    AND most, if not all, of the congregation sold their dc properties and moved to maryland.

    just look at the plates on the illegally parked cars on sunday when they worship THE LORD. oh, and take a look at the bishop/pastor/whatever car. he drives a bentley.

  • by the way as oct 1 of this year the vacant commercial tax rate is


  • I believe they still have at least 8 vacant properties, assessed at between $400K-$550K each.

    “IF” they are taxed at 10%, they are pushing close to half a mil in taxes in 09. That’s a pretty expensive Anti-Progress Program.

  • So Nate -you are all about capitalism unless some church is involved?

  • Once again people are conflating socio-economic conflicts with racial conflicts. People who are against gentrification could care less what color the gentrifiers are, what matters is whether the existing residents of a community are being priced out by more affluent newcomers. In DC, as in many cities, race is just a proxy for socio-economic status.

  • SG, I think you’re right to an extent, but to keep it real, there is definitely a racial element in this particular situation. To say otherwise would be to put blinders on.

    When it comes to this church, the congregation fled to PG County (abandoning their DC neighborhood for fertile pastures) long before the evil gentrifiers came… So I don’t really understand where much animosity would be coming from on the part of the congregation. In reading up on the history of the congregation, it is a largely racist and homophobic group. It is what it is… they can believe and do what they want, but we can also call a spade a spade. Their impact on the community hasn’t been categorially negative, not has it been categorically positive. The truth, as usual, is somewhere in between. And in the case of the abandoned property, they are being bad neighbors to ALL.

  • I hear what you’re saying, but there are racial elements to pretty much everything in this town. I just read a thread about a restaurant in Brightwood where someone referred to the “clutch-your-purse-as-you-pass pedestrians” that populate the area. I think there is clearly a racial element in that categorization regardless of whether or not it’s born out of personal experience and/or perception – i.e., the fact that the face of the majority of crime in DC is a black one. The post about the real estate agent whose wallet was stolen during an open house (and the responses to that post) had racial elements. Note that I said racial and not racist. My point about this property in Shaw is that if this congregation is against gentrification, it won’t matter what color the gentrification comes in. It just so happens that in this town, the face of gentrification is overwhelmingly white. It’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation.

  • I tried taking this picture a month ago and it came out funky. Where did you stand for it? It has a real Egon Scheile feeling about it when you see it.

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