Friday, June 09, 2006

St. Martins Revisited

The waters have been fairly calm over the past several months in regard to the proposed redeveloment of the St. Martin's housing project in Eckington. I believe there has been some back and forth about the size of the project, none of which has been resolved.

However, about a month ago the St. Martin's Covenant building was nominated for Historic Preservation status. This would conceivably make development of the area more difficult for St. Martin, as they had intended to raze the old building.

The hearing for the meeting is coming up, and our good friend Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale has dug up the following information....

Recap: St. Martin's is interested in demolishing and razing the convent building on its site in order to clear the property for its all-new-construction rental apartment building. The historic nomination has temporarily halted the demo/raze permit for the building.

The convent -- as well as the St. Martin's School -- will be on the agenda of the Thursday, June 22, 2006, Historic Preservation Review Board public hearing.

Recall that ANC 5C voted to support the St. Martin's housing project for the Eckington site behind the leadership of Cleopatra Jones, a parishioner at St. Martins.

(He) asked Bruce Yarnall of the DC Historic Preservation Review Board how residents could express themselves regarding the historic nomination of St. Martin's convent & school, which are on the 6/22/2006 HPRB public hearing agenda.

To provide your feedback on this nomination for Historic Preservation of St. Martins covenant, please mail email or fax comments to

Tersh Boasberg, HPRB Chairman
Office of Planning/Historic Preservation Office
801 N. Capitol Street, NE #3000
Washington, DC 20002

They can be faxed to : See above at: 202.741.5246

They can be e-mailed to: See above at:

In all instances, please have individuals reference: St. Martin's School and Convent HPA 06-10

I STRONGLY recommend that comments for and against reach us no later than COB 6/14/2006 in order to include the material in the HPRB Board members mailing that goes out on June 15. Any received after June 15 will be presented to board members the day of the meeting.

The official agenda for the meeting can be found
-What are the consequences of this passing? Will St. Martin's be in a position to look for other ways to make their housing project work? Will it erase any good tidings that have may be remaining?
-What are the options if this passes or fails?
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have not yet decided on my position, and whether I will submit a letter to the board. I am a 200 ft Club person, so it is very important to me.

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