Biltmore Triangle Garden

Every year, a committed group of neighborhood gardeners brings a Spring and Summer-long haven of beauty to the little triangular park at Biltmore and 20th Street. For your convenience, and to spread the word and seek financial support for the Biltmore Triangle Garden, please view their new brochure, and hopefully support the gardener’s efforts.

Item posted May 18, 2011.

KCA Executive Committee Meeting

On July 15th, 2010, the KCA Executive Committee (EC) met to consider a number of financial and organizational matters, and a request to fund and nominate as an Historic Landmark 1767 Lanier Place, NW. Read the resolutions of the EC here.

Item posted July 20, 2010.


            The KCA is pleased to announce that we will co-host, with the Reed-Cooke Neighborhood Association, the first debate of this election year between the three candidates vying to win the primary for the Ward One Council seat on the Democratic side of the ballot, incumbent Jim Graham and challengers Jeff Smith and Bryan Weaver.
            The debate will be moderated by Current Newspapers publisher Davis Kennedy. Some of the questions will be supplied by each of the host organizations and audience questions will be written on cards and submitted to the candidates through the moderator.
            The debate will run from 7:30 to approximately 9:00 pm at Good Will Baptist Church. From 7:00 to 7:30 KCA will have a short agenda including annual elections of officers.

May 14, 2010

ABC Board Respects Adams Morgan Moratorium

On December 9th, 2009, the ABC Board announced its decision on ANC 1C’s petition to amend the Adams Morgan Moratorium Zone and accompanying regulations. ANC 1C (Adams Morgan) had resolved to “carve out” the 1700 block of Florida Avenue, NW from the moratorium zone and allow an unlimited number of DR (beer & wine, on-premises) licenses there. This in response to ABRA staff allowing an application from non-ABC restaurant Locolat, 1781 Florida Avenue. So the Board was faced with a difficult problem. It decided to allow just one and no more DR licenses in the 1700 block of Florida Avenue. To read the Board’s full decision and Emergency Rulemaking, click here. Also, see article in the December 2009 KCA Newsletter:

Posted December 18, 2009

Rock Creek Park Seeks Comments on Work Plan for West Slope of Walter Pierce Cemeteries

Rock Creek Park authorities are seeking public comment until November 24 on a newly released plan for soil-erosion work on the west slope leading from Walter Pierce Park down to Rock Creek, just upstream from the Duke Ellington Bridge.

There is no question that this National Park Service hillside, which lies within the boundaries of the historic cemeteries, badly needs soil-erosion containment.  It is a hillside where graves have become exposed, and skeletal remains have washed out due to erosion.

The problem with the proposed plan--prepared for Rock Creek Park authorities by a contractor, The Louis Berger Group Inc.--is that it contemplates absolutely no inclusion of team members from the Walter Pierce Park Archaeology Project, which includes experts from Howard University, or any role for concerned members of the African American and Quaker communities.  The most glaring omission from the report it that it doesn't acknowledge that remains are washing out on this long-neglected hillside, and that the views of the concerned communities--especially descendants and spiritual leaders--must be sought to determine the proper treatment of these remains. 

The report also mischaracterizes and minimizes the serious nature of the archaeological work and historic research that has been conducted by members of the Walter Pierce Park Archaeology Project over the past four years. 
The Walter Pierce Park archaeological survey, led by Howard University biological anthropologist Mark Mack, involves no digging so that existing graves won't be disturbed.  During the course of our work in the park, the exposed remains of at least nine individuals have been found.  In addition, through extensive historic research, we've documented the names, ages, addresses and other biographical information of the 8,441 people who were buried in the cemeteries, which we will make public as soon as we finish typing the data.   (As a reminder, we'll be making public presentations about this project at the Washington History Conference at the Sumner School Museum on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.)

National Park Service guidelines for the treatment of ethnographically important sites require early, ongoing and significant participation of concerned communities in any work having an impact on those sites.   Explicit policies for "cultural resource management" are contained in:  NPS-28:  CULTURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES, Chapter 10, "Management of Ethnographic Resources," which you can read for yourselves at

Click here to download the draft environmental assessment for the proposed work adjacent to Walter Pierce Park.  

It is very important that all of us who have a concern for the Walter Pierce cemeteries read and comment on the environmental assessment by November 24.  Please explain, if you can, your personal connection to the site in your letter or e-mail to Rock Creek Park, because the Rock Creek Park and National Park Service authorities need to hear our concerns.  (Feel free, also, to copy me publicly on anything you write.)

We are grateful for the support of the concerned community, descendants, and historians, 

Mary Belcher, researcher and community liaison to the Walter Pierce Park Archaeological Project
Posted 11-13-2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Finally Shows the
Public Its Proposals for Columbia and Adams Mill Road Plaza

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) has finally released the concepts of sculpture it is seeking to place in the newly created public plaza at the corner of Columbia and Adams Mill Roads. Prior to this, the public has only been afforded the artist’s images super-imposed onto a photo of the space (see September KCA newsletter: ).

To view DCCAH’s first submission to the US Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), click here

To view CFA’s recommendations after the July 16, 2009 presentation, click here

To view DCCAH’s revised concept, submitted to CFA for its September 17, 2009 meeting, click here.

Please note that DCCAH did not consult with the community between its submissions, as requested by CFA. In fact, the Adams Morgan community has never had a community-wide discussion on how to use the new plaza. Let’s not clutter up this new space with “art” of questionable, if any, relationship to Adams Morgan.

I’ve invited DCCAH to the KCA’s Thursday,September 24th meeting to discuss this issue. I’ve also invited Ward One Councilmember Jim Graham. Please come out and share your thoughts and ideas about this proposal, but more importantly, about the use of the plaza.

Denis James


June 18, 2009

Many neighborhood residents have expressed concern over the current construction project by the DC Department of Recreation in Kalorama Park. It is billed as an erosion control project. On the evening of June 17th, DPR Director Ximena Hartsock and DPR Planner Sarah Moulton met with representatives of the Fund For Kalorama Park, ANC 1C, KCA, and interested residents to discuss the project and attempt to prevent any further unnecessary damage to the terrain and trees in the park. A short list of achieve-ables was agreed upon: *

1) Tree Safety -- DPR will compel the contractor to fulfill the scope of the contract which included protecting the trees.  This means snow-fencing around the drip lines of any and all trees near the construction and near where machinery will be driven and used.  As noted, several trees are probably facing hard times or death due to the lack of this basic protection method.

2) Minimize further damage to grass and dirt -- DPR will make sure contractors minimally impact the grass that was seeded in the last couple of years.  This includes driving over paths already damaged and not creating new paths -- minimizing the amount of paths used, and making sure the public also doesn't compact soil and grass by opening up the walkway that's currently fenced in.  There was no expectation to remove the metal garbage bin on the slope near 19th street as the damage has been done and they will be removing that shortly.

3) Visual Information to Public -- DPR will make clean copies of the plans shown to us tonight and place those on the fencing and at the bulletin board in addition to having a copy at the Recreation center to help answer further questions about the scope of this project.

4) Project Dates to Public -- DPR will provide two important dates to the public.  The first date is the end of major construction -- installation of the drains, bio-swales, and the permeable layer near the courts.  The second date is the completion of the remediation of the park after construction: seeding to grow grass, installation of new trees, etc.
*Thanks to ANC-1C-02 Commissioner Chris Otten for providing items 1-4.

To further public awareness of the project, we are posting the construction drawings for the project here.


Please join us for our annual dinner event at Perrys. Check out their new all-tapas menu. I’ve tried it twice recently, and there are many delicious options.          

The cost is $25.00, not including tax and tip. Cash bar.

To make a reservation, please contact me at:  or 202 232-8829. The evening’s menu is shown below:

PERRYS, 1811 COLUMBIA ROAD, NW, THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 2009, 7:00 pm
*preset tapas menu

A         classic gazpacho 
            vegetable relish
            mixed green salad
            cabrales cheese | walnuts | red onion | lemon vinaigrette
            spanish chicken croquetas
            breaded chicken | béchamel

B          brava potatoes
            spicy tomato | aioli

            calamari pelayos  
            sautéed squid | caramelized pepper & onion
            mini grilled chorizo
            mashed potatoes | garlic sauce

C          creamy risotto
            wild mushroom | manchego | natural jus
            8 piece roll combination
            chef’s choice
            chicken chilindron  
            serrano ham | red-green pepper

            grilled angus beef sirloin
            mushroom demi

D         key lime tartelette
            guava nectar
            *Please select one item from category A, B, C and D for $25 per person
            extra basket of bread 1.95  
            extra basket of bread | home cured olives | virgin olive oil 2.95

- Denis James



            “Going Green” will be the topic at the March 19th KCA meeting. With Spring coming, and the economic crisis, and so many folks trying to live more efficiently, it seemed a perfect time to get some folks from government, the non-profit world and private industry together to talk to residents about things they can do with their properties, or in their back yard, or in their communities.
            How do the “Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008” and “DC Green Building Act of 2006” affect us inside our homes and in our yards? Are large government projects being built with environmental concerns in mind? Are there ways to re-think our public parks for the benefit of all and protect the watershed at the same time? Such questions and many more from you are among those we hope can start to be answered next Thursday.
            Our panelists are: Gabe Klein, Director of DDOT; Steve Coleman, Executive Director of Washington Parks & People; Beth Mullin, Executive Director of Friends of Rock Creek Environment; Steve Saari, DDOE, Watershed Management Specialist; and Lotte Schlegel, Project Manager, from the Institute for Market Transformation.
            It should be a very interesting meeting.
- Denis Jame


Lanier Heights Survey Now Available

The Intensive-Level Survey of Lanier Heights, Washington, DC, Final Report is now available. The report was produced by architectural historians, EHT Traceries, Inc. of Washington, using data collected by neighborhood volunteers under a grant from the DC Historic Preservation Office to the KCA.
The report may be read or downloaded in .pdf format by clicking here.
Additionally, ANC 1C will post the file on their web-site, and paper copies are available for review at the following locations:

Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library*
3160 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC  20010
(202) 671-0200
* Currently in new arrivals, to be permanently placed in the reference section.

Martin Luther King Memorial Library
Washingtoniana Room
901 G Street, NW,
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 727-1213

Marie H. Reed Learning Center Library*
2200 Champlain Street, NW
Washington, DC  20009
* Enter from 18th Street main doors opposite intersection of 18th & Wyoming, sign in and check in at the school office where you will be directed to the library. Hours are 8 am-3:30 pm.

Posted 2-9-2009


            KCA will be doing something a bit different for our Holiday Season meeting this year with the free showing of Michael Patrei’s documentary on DC’s Ballou High School marching band and its Director Darrell Watson. Produced by Casey Callister, the film is a feel-good story of the student’s struggle for achievement growing up in the gritty Congress Heights neighborhood of Southeast DC.

            We’ll have popcorn, hot chocolate and other movie-type refreshments to make your movie-going experience complete.

            KCA would like to thank the producers of Ballou for their kind cooperation in allowing this showing of their film. To learn more about the film, the students, the production team and how to purchase the film, please visit the producer’s web-site:
At the web-site, there is also information on how to support the Ballou marching band, including purchasing the film directly from the Band Booster Association which will also support their activities.

            So, we’ll see you at Good Will Baptist Church on the 18th at 7:00 pm for a different kind of Holiday celebration!

-Denis James

DC Residents Have Highest Tax Burden in Region
The District's Chief Financial Officer recently released a report comparing the tax burden of DC residents to residents of surrounding jurisdictions.  As the CFO's report acknowledges, DC has the highest per capita burden tax burden in the nation.  The CFO study compared hypothetical families at different income levels, concluding that DC residents had the highest or second highest overall tax burden at most income levels.  However, correcting for flaws in the CFO's analysis, the burden on DC residents is even greater than the the CFO's report indicates.
To see our complete analysis, please click here.
Washington Heights Individual Property Descriptions Available
A report for each property surveyed in the Washington Heights area is available in Adobe .pdf format or printed form.  This will generally include date of construction, brief descriptive information, notes, and the names of the builder and architects from construction permits, together with photographs taken during the survey.  For a .pdf, Contact Larry Karr (and provide the desired address!), or for a printed copy, send a SASE with your address to the KCA PO Box address.
Historic Survey Report on Washington Heights Released
The intensive survey of all buildings in the Washington Heights area has been completed.  The report, produced by the Architectural History firm of EHT Traceries will be the subject of the September 15 KCA meeting with a slide show presentation by EHT Traceries staff.

This project has been funded in part by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service Historic Preservation  Fund grant funds, administered by the District of Columbia's Historic Preservation Office.
View and/or download the entire report in .PDF format
Washington Heights Historic District Approved
The DC Historic Preservation Review Board approved the creation of the Washington Heights historic district at its July, 2006 meeting.  The National Register nomination form was produced by the Architectural History firm of EHT Traceries. The nomination contains a wealth of information on the history and development of Washington Heights, a map of the historic district, and a list of the properties that contribute to the historic district.

This project has been funded in part by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service Historic Preservation  Fund grant funds, administered by the District of Columbia's Historic Preservation Office.  
View and/or download the nomination in .PDF format
Kalorama Triangle Historic District Nomination Available
The 1987 National Register of Historic Places Nomination form for the Kalorama Triangle Historic district has recently been scanned, and is full text searchable with Adobe Acrobat.  It comes in two files, one with text and the other with photographs.
Download the Text of the Nomination
DCPS Holds Hearing on Adams-Oyster Planning
Description of the June 13, 2006 meeting and planning document to follow.
Download the Planning Document
KCA and RCNA File ABC Moritorium Petition on April 20
The Kalorama Citizens Association (KCA) and the Reed-Cooke Neighborhood Association (RCNA) were instrumental in successfully petitioning the ABC Board four years ago to implement the current moratorium which expires on July 19.
    Currently, there are 71 establishments in the Adams Morgan moratorium zone, with a combined occupancy of 7,400! There are also 5 other licenses in "safekeeping" with the Board that if activated will each need a storefront inside the moratorium zone and will add to the overall occupancy figure. Besides the on-premises establishments there are 4 "A" licensees (full liquor stores) with one in "safekeeping" and 10 "B" licensees (beer and wine carry-out) within the moratorium zone.
   In the Renewal Petition, KCA and RCNA have requested provisions that would allow full-service grocery retailers to acquire a "B" license as provided by the Council in the 2001 rewrite of the ABC law, Title 25. As many of you may have heard, the Harris-Teeter grocery chain is interested in locating a store at 17th and Kalorama in the old roller skating rink building. This same provision would also allow the Safeway on Columbia Road to apply for that type of license.
   Additionally, KCA and RCNA have requested that the Board place a limit on the number of "Taverns" allowed at six(6), and to ban any further lateral expansions that would cause the further loss of storefronts that could hold neighborhood-serving retail.
   We feel that there are enough ABC establishments in our neighborhood! The high concentration of establishments has clearly had a negative impact on parking, traffic, noise, and trash. The point of the moratorium is to simply to prevent these conditions from getting worse than they already are, by prohibiting additional licenses. A side benefit is that some of our commercial space may be preserved for what we hope will be small businesses that can serve the needs of local residents. How those businesses are attracted and retained is another discussion for another day, but it is one that KCA and RCNA stand ready to participate in with open minds and constructive intent.
Click here to download the complete petition

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