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Carnegie Library Redevelopment Meeting on July 23

The National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), in coordination with Events DC, invite you to attend a Section 106 consultation meeting for the proposed redevelopment of the Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 from 11am – 12:30pm. As reported last September, the redevelopment aims to relocate the Spy Museum to the Carnegie Library site. The transformation of the Carnegie Library would incorporate a new glass atrium on the north side of the building.

Carnegie Library image from Wikipedia

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DDOT recommends streetcar transitway for K Street

DDOT published their Union Station to Georgetown alternatives analysis this week. As expected the study recommends connecting the H Street NE streetcar route to Georgetown via a K Street Transitway. The extension how start on the Hopscotch bridge behind Union station and head east until traveling up New Jersey Avenue in MVT to K Street. It would then follow K Street until reaching Wisconsin Ave in Georgetown. The streetcar would have dedicated lanes from 10th Street NW to 21st Street NW.


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Spy Museum to move to Carnegie Library

As you may heard earlier in the week, many outlets are reporting of a plan to move The International Spy Museum to the historic Carnegie Library building on Mount Vernon Square. Construction of a new glass pavilion on the north side of the building and interior renovations would begin in 2015 with the museum occupying the space in 2017. This addition to the structure would host a visitor’s center and Spy Museum gift shop.

The historic building has been woefully underutilized when considering its stature and potential. Having the Spy Museum anchor the site as City Center, the Marriott Marquis Convention Center Hotel and redevelopments on the east side of the block (AAMC HQ, 601 Mass) are completed could enliven the square.

Carnegie Library image from Wikipedia

Milton Maltz, founder of Spy Museum, stated that his family would take pride in donating the museum to the city. It would need to serve as non-profit under this planned arrangement.

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Downtown DC Playground Group meeting tonight

Wednesday, March 14th, the Downtown DC Kids (website | facebook) playground group will meet at Calvary Baptist Church at 6 pm. The agenda includes updates, organizational planning for creating a new friends group and planning of their second pop-up play event on Saturday, April 21st at an outdoor location. Downtown DC Kids need lots of volunteers to help make the event a huge success, which they hope will draw a lot of attention from our public officials.

Children are welcome to play in the gym while during the meeting.

WHAT: Downtown DC Playground Group Meeting

WHEN: Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 at 6 pm

WHERE: Calvary Baptist Church, Shallenberger Hall/Gym

Playing Ground

For more information on the organizations playgrounds initiative read the op-ed that Downtown DC Kids founders Caroline Armijo and Danielle Pierce contributed to Greater Greater Washington yesterday.

Image Credit: Playground image is from flickr user xcode

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WaPo: Carnegie Building could become D.C. visitors center

Jonathan O’Connell of the Washington Post’s Capital Business column reports that the Carnegie Library building on Mount Vernon Square may become a Vistor’s Center.

The Washington Convention and Sports Authority, which oversees the city’s convention and tourism business, is negotiating an arrangement with the city and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., to open a visitors center across Mount Vernon Place NW from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

On the surface this sounds like an upgrade as it would bring more life to the square than the status quo. However this is less ambitious than the priority recommendations the Office of Planning devised during the initial phase of the Mount Vernon Square District project. Those priority recommendations included a restaurant with outdoor seating and flexible event space.

My question would be – is this the first baby step towards realizing the Office of Planning’s vision? Or will the Visitor Center and Historical Society stake claim to all the buildings space and preclude a more ambitious transformation of the square long term? I really hope it’s not the latter because a visitor center for buses to drop tourists off at is not going to engage residents. Amenities to attract residents are a critical component if the square to reach it’s full potential.

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DCRA response to criticism over Liberty Market closure

Last week the Liberty Market opened for the Spring season at 7th and K Streets NW on Mount Vernon Square. The operation was promptly shut down for not having adequate permits. Yesterday Martin Moulton, president of the Convention Center Community Association (CCCA), issued an open letter to Councilmembers Jack Evans (Ward 2) and Tommy Wells (Ward 6) to criticize the action taken against the market.

A communication, included after the Read More jump, from DCRA has been issued on the Shaw listservs in response to Martin’s letter.
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Mount Vernon Square District Project feedback due Jan 22nd

Late last year the Office of Planning had two rounds of public open houses for the Mount Vernon Square District Project. The project is designed to generate implementation‐driven solutions for specific transportation, public realm and real estate challenges and opportunities in the blocks, streets, and reservations surrounding Mount Vernon Square.

The October public open house gathered reems of feedback from community attendees. The second open house that followed December unveiled four transportation alternatives for public consideration and have been nicely summarized at Greater Greater Washington. The planning office is now requesting community feedback on the transportation alternatives be submitted by January 22nd. To submit your feedback fill out this form, that allows for both rank ordering of alternatives and feedback on specific components, and send it via email to christopher.ziemann@dc.gov.

MVSD Transportation Alternative 3; Click to Enlarge

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Liberty Market to Remain Open

Prior reports that the Liberty Market would be closing for the season were premature. The Diverse Market Management team has replied that they hope to remain open as long as customers keep coming. Fresh produce may become scarce as the season winds down but homemade goods will still be available. Recently the market has added two new vendors: “an already very popular Pickle guy and fantastic olive oil from Provence.

The market runs on the grounds of Mount Vernon Square each Tuesday from 2:30-6:30PM.

Thanks to John T for tracking down the official word from DMM.

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Last day of season for Liberty Market

The Liberty Market which occurs each Tuesday on the grounds of Mount Vernon Square will end it’s season today (November 24th). The market run by Diverse Markets Management opened on September 29th and has run for 9 weeks featuring produce, prepared foods and beverages, live music, and artists selling their works.

Hopefully the market can return to the Square in the Spring with a wider array of produce offerings and a more consistent presence on a week-to-week basis. In the meantime the Downtown Holiday Market on F Street will begin on December 4th and run continuously for 20 days until the 23rd.

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