Dear PoP – More info on Bruce Monroe School Demolition

by Prince Of Petworth February 23, 2010 at 11:01 am 22 Comments


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 http://www.stopthelot.com 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?

  • NAB

    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.

  • Down the Street

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

    • Dan

      How does one join this listserv?

  • More parks, less asphalt!

  • jcm

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

    • Anonymous

      meth clinic? prison? paper making factory? halfway house?
      portajohn storage?

      • NAB

        the ever-popular gravel pit surrounded by razorwire fencing?

      • jcm

        They wouldn’t build any of those into a temporary site, except maybe the portajohn storage. Which is a parking lot, of sorts.

  • Anon

    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.

  • Jonathan

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

    • Just saying

      You got it right.

      Something, something, dark side.

      And the point is moot, the parking lot idea is off the table at this time.

    • the white yuppie conspiracy

      something something panera bread

  • 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.

  • Eric B


    • quincycyclist


  • Rock Creek

    how about a permanent year-round circus?

  • Petworthian

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

  • ShermanAveGuy

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

  • Concerned parent

    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).

  • car-free dc

    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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