Rejecting the recommendation of the staff of the Historical Preservation Office, the Historical Preservation Review Board denied the application to landmark the West Heating Plant. While not unprecedented, it is nonetheless rare for the board to diverge from the staff’s conclusions. But like most opinions regarding the West Heating Plant, it seems that a conviction that the building is ugly caused the board to ignore fundamental preservation principles.
Two of the board members voted to landmark the building. According to the report, they cited the building’s place in Georgetown’s industrial past and how it uniquely stands as an example specifically of the architecture of the federal government.
The three other members, however, weren’t persuaded. For instance, according to WBJ Graham Davidson said he “didn’t see how a case could be made for its preservation as either a strong addition to the residential portion of Georgetown, its waterfront and architectural composition.” (Funny aside about Davidson: he once testified in favor of landmarking this unremarkable building, perhaps because his firm designed it.) Continue reading
Earlier this month, GM reported on the historically long waitlist that Georgetown families face to enroll their children in Hyde for the new three year old program. At the time, GM pointed out that while the waitlist was long by Georgetown standards, it was nonetheless much shorter than some especially popular schools like Stoddert. However, the city release data this week that puts Hyde among the the tops in the city in terms of difficulty for residents to get into.
The city analyzed what percentage of in boundary families for each school ended up on the waitlist. (Even in-boundary families need to win a lottery to get a spot in the PreK three year old and four year old programs.) Oyster Adams, in Woodley Park, is the toughest for neighborhood kids to get into, with 74.5% of families ending up on the waitlist. Stoddert is second, with 68.3% on the waitlist. But Hyde is right behind Stoddert at 62.9%. Continue reading