Anyone Know What’s Going On At the Old Church at 10th and Monroe?

by Prince Of Petworth July 6, 2016 at 3:00 pm 15 Comments


“Dear PoPville,

Any idea what is happening with the property at 1001 Monroe St NW, at the corner of 10th and Monroe in Columbia Heights? Formerly Southern Bethany Baptist Church, the property was sold in April of 2015, and has been in a half torn-down state for months, with little evidence of any progress whatsoever. There are almost never any construction workers on the site, and the sidewalks on both Monroe and 10th remain fenced off, creating a significant public hazard. None of the permitting documents are visible from the street.”


  • Philippe Lecheval

    Jesus has left the building.

  • jonah

    Not sure this will help but DCRA shows a permit approved in September 2015 for “CONVERT CHURCH INTO 3 STORY +CELLAR APARTMENT HOUSE INTERIOR RENOVATION AT ALL LEVELS TO INCLUDE UPGRADES TO EXISTING M.E.P. SYSTEMS.” and then in October 2015 this permit “REVISION TO PERMIT No. B1507566 For correction of ownership information to be present on Permit. NO CONSTRUCTION”

    • textdoc

      Beat me to it.
      Every time I pass this property, I always wonder if they were bending over backwards to avoid having to get a raze permit (and maybe planning to let the facade accidentally-on-purpose fall down). It seems like a bit more than “interior renovation,” given that the roof is gone and a significant chunk of the exterior facade is missing.

      • LittleBluePenguin

        I’ve wondered the exact same thing, textdoc!

      • Katya A

        Yeah, interior renovation is totally inaccurate. I have the same suspicion. Anyone with suggestions about how to preempt that? I live next door and would like not to have a massive wall “accidentally” coming down outside the window.

        It was sad to see the church totally gutted. It became pretty obvious what was happening when all construction/”renovation” activity stopped from about October onward.

  • kbt

    I personally find it entertaining that the 2nd story window unit was left in the unit — just chillin’ like a villin’.

    • NHAve


  • KK

    Is there anything that can be done about this? They have taken up the sidewalk and parking since last year while doing absolutely no work. There is standing water inside the structure, been there for months. Are there any steps that residents can take against this?

    • Q

      YES to this whole thread. I kept meaning to send in a photo of this because it’s been like this for at least a year, and the sidewalk closures are especially irritating and unsafe. This thing needs to GO. In addition to wanting to know if there’s anything that we can do about it, can someone tell me what that permit language means?

      • Anonymous

        +1. I’d suggest calling Brianne Nadeue or DCRA/311.

    • Anon

      Start by asking CM Nadeau herself, and the mayor’s office, when they plan to require DCRA to do its basic job as it related to code enforcement of construction sites. If the Bacon Funeral Home is any indication, this could go one for 8.5 years with zero enforcement.

      • anon

        same with 723 Morton St. Call, email, tweet, etc at everyone including DCRA director Melinda Bolling (melinda.bolling@dc.gov ) copying the Nadeau, Mayors office, etc demanding DCRA enforce their own regulations. There is no way the approved plans for an interior renovation included this level of demolition. If they are not complying with the plans, DCRA should be enforcing which unfortunately they seem incapable of doing without great public pressure.

  • Becka

    So glad someone took the initiative and wrote in about this! I live on this block and their permits to block the sidewalk expired in early May. They haven’t gotten new ones.

  • DC Ron

    This is how developers skirt the system to avoid getting a raze permit and avoid doing “new construction.” This is merely an “alteration” of an existing structure. I’ve seen similar “alterations” occur where the only thing left prior to construction a 3″ brick wall.

    No way they’re keeping the wooden exterior walls of this building.

  • Neighbor

    Does anyone in the neighborhood actually want this exterior to be preserved?


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