Horse’s Ass Award Nominee – Bldg at 9th and Q Streets, NW

Back in early January the murals on this vacant building were painted over. I thought it was a tragedy as they added a lot of color to an otherwise depressing corner. Perhaps tragedy was too strong a word but, to me, it was and is def. disappointing. And the corner continues to be depressing primarily because of this vacant building. I wanted to wait a few months to see if anything would happen. I wrote that it would be great if a business actually moved into the space. Alas, it is mid-May and nothing.

DCist wrote at the time:

“These murals were by no means a celebration of the neighborhood’s history, though a pair on the adjacent wall, one of Robert Gould Shaw and Duke Ellington, and another depicting Carter G. Woodson, were added later by volunteers organized by ANC 2C commissioner Alex Padro.”

Just because some of the murals weren’t a celebration of the neighborhood’s history (even though some were) doesn’t mean that they didn’t have value. But I’ll throw it out to you guys given that the building continues to be vacant- do you like it better now with the murals painted over or with the murals?

17 Comment

  • I’ve been hoping for years that Cafe Putain Qui Pue, the wonderful long-time French bistro that closed there in the late 60s, would reopen. Sadly, it is not to be.

  • I think it’s more attractive for a potential tenant to see it freshly painted and with the boards taken off the windows. Thumbs up in my opinion.

  • *spit take!* The stank whore cafe? For serious?

  • Please forward your comments to the owner of this long vacant property…excuses have been years in the making and continue in 2010…

    819-821 Q Street – Michael D. Sendar, Potomac, MD (Commercial)

  • Sorry, not all of us find street murals lovely. I associate most (not all) with graffiti, crime, neglect and political statements. Beyond that, I just think they make a building look cluttered and a neighborhood look blighted. I know lots of folks praise their artistic value, and sure some exhibit great talent – but I wish they would stop defacing our buildings with them and put them on a canvas or something. Just my opinion.

    • I agree. These poorly painted plywood murals in particular make (made) the buildings look really crappy and third world, if you’ll pardon the expression.

      +1 that a fresh coat of paint and no murals would go a long way towards not only making the building more attractive to potential tenants, but improve the look of the neighborhood.

  • For the record, I do think Sendar deserves a horse’s ass award simply for being a crappy Potomac slumlord.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Yeah, the award is going to the building owners for it being vacant for so long. The whole mural thing just gets me upset because the building continues to be vacant.

  • I guess Im confused. The current picture looks like there is a sign on the building offering it for rent, lease or sale, I cant read it. What is the problem. The guy is trying to do something with the space, looks like now one will rent, lease or buy the building. Is that his fault? I think taking the boards off the windows, he is trying to make the building look more attractive to potential tenants.

    • He’s been pretending to sell the place for years to avoid paying higher property taxes. He wants something crazy like 5 million dollars for the place

    • as same old says, this thing has been in varying states of for sale, for rent, and renovation for a decade at least I’d say. By converting its status all the time he can avoid some of the vacant property tax rates and stuff like that. And the price he wants is just silly right now, he’s just holding it for as long as he needs to until he can get lots of money. That’s somewhat his right of course.

  • sorry I meant no one, not now one.

  • I inquired about this property maybe 5 months ago when they first put up the for sale sign – before they painted over the murals. They couldn’t even give me a price.

    It’s not really for sale folks. The paint job was just to lower the profile of the building and it was put on the market to avoid the blighted/vacant tax penalty.

    Gaming the system and hurting the neighborhood.

  • How does DC gov. determine if the property is really for sale? Is a for sale sign enough? How about the fair market asking price? I mean you could put a for sale sign and never answer the call or ask for an outrageous amount of money that nobody will buy the place.

  • DC gov won’t care in and of themselves, if someone complains to DCRA and OTR then that someone needs to bird dog those incompetent department/office for months/years until \something\ is done, like imposing the vacant tax rate. Obviously there’s a problem with the vacant property system in DC, as perhaps 20% of the cities buildings are abandoned (wild guess). A councilmember can help, but DCRA and OTR work for the mayor, not the council…

  • I personally thought the murals were great. I prefer the murals…this just looks like another vacant building cluttering this stretch of 9th Street. What we need is a neighborhood coffee shop, close to the metro. I would love to patronize a neighborhood spot.

    • I’m with you. I loved those murals, and felt like they were proof that Shaw wouldn’t allow itself to be turned into Arlington without a fight. You move to Shaw, you join Shaw, you don’t take it over. It’s a slower way to progress, but it creates a better community in the long term. I don’t think they made that corner look sad, I thought they made it look more alive. Now it looks sad.

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