Dear PoP – More info on Bruce Monroe School Demolition


A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the current Bruce Monroe School Demolition schedule and proposed plans. A group has emerged opposing a parking lot. They write:

Dear PoP,

Demolition at the Bruce Monroe Elementary School (bounded by Georgia Avenue, Irving Street and Columbia Road) is now scheduled to be complete in late April. At a community meeting this week, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development announced a proposal to convert the majority of the parcel into a surface parking lot for commuters, who are likely to be employees of one of the large employers on this side of town. The parking lot is to be an interim use, which the District says could last 3-5 years.

Many neighbors of the site think a surface parking lot, for however long, is a very bad idea. This will do nothing to benefit the community, will be harmful to the environment, and the revenue it raises — which the District would share — will not be targeted to any particular use in the neighborhood. By contrast, the Gage-Eckington School in LeDroit Park was nearly the same size as the Bruce Monroe parcel, demolition was begun at about the same time, and yet the residents of that community are about to enjoy a permanent 3-acre park with an urban vegetable farm.

The next community meeting on this topic is March 8. In the meantime, please help strengthen the opposition by visiting to learn more and sign an online petition.

Pleasant Plains and Park View deserve better.

— The Stop the Lot Coalition

Does anyone actually support the idea of a parking lot here?

22 Comment

  • definitely could be worse uses than a parking lot…

    Also, if a park/vegetable farm isn’t the final planned use, why should the city invest in such construction only to see it all go away in 3-5 years?

    • Why not apply that logic to a parking lot? Why invest money in an ugly, under-to-unused parking lot “only to see it all go away in 3-5 years?”

      If the demolition is imminent, and a permanent use has not been determined, the city must sell it or make it temporarily useful and/or attractive and maintained. We cannot let The City despoil our neighborhoods by being a bad landlord.

  • Councilmember Graham sent an email to the neighborhood listserv this morning stating that a parking lot is off the table.

  • More parks, less asphalt!

  • @NAB exactly which uses would be worse than a parking lot?

  • FYI, the Gage-Eckington park site is not permanent. It’s still being considered for development for city use in the future. In the mean time at least they are doing something nice with it.

  • something something gentrifiers something something dog park something something gentrifiers. Have I got that right?

  • What “large” employers in that area need more parking? The largest employer that comes to mind is Howard, and the lots around it are never full. The hospital complex is too far away to be served by a parking lot on Georgia Ave (it seems to have plenty of parking anyway). There is no business district to speak of that needs more parking.
    I don’t like the idea of a parking lot but it might be supportable if there is an actual need for one.

  • how about a permanent year-round circus?

  • Pre-K school. Doctor’s offices. Blood lab. Something to bring accessible employment and benefit the neighborhood.

  • Let’s put in a Results gym there. WSC on 14th is WAY too crowded.

  • Why not insist that the city make good on the promises it made and rebuild Bruce Monroe School there faster than the vague three to five year timeline?

    The students deserve a fully equipped school building that has enough space for them. There current holding space at Park View is not adequate at all.

    It is unfair and once again shows the priorities of city officials. They actually want rebuilding the school off the table and instead want some private venture. Another land giveaway to some developer.

  • i’m curious to see what do you think about the parking lot, PoP. i’m personally opposed (and signed the petition as such).

  • parking lot:

    pros for the neighborhood:
    – occasional (not overnight?) parking for local residents
    – possible benefit to local business from commuters

    cons for the neighborhood:
    – empty space for loitering and, inherently, crime
    – bad for environment
    – visually unattractive
    – gross waste of local tax money to support commuter convenience
    – added traffic and congestion to neighborhood

    Personally, i’d like to see a park, school or community center. It seems that leveling the place and paving it is the cheapest temporary option.

    How difficult would it be to set up a neighborhood park committee to oversee some portion of this lot being made into a temporary community garden? How about turning the rest into a children’s garden program run in coordination with a local school? Is there enough interest from either side to actually follow something like this through?

    Less cars, more vegetables!

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