2012 promises to be a busy year in the Washington region for commemorations. Maryland will look at the War of 1812, as well as the Battle of Antietam.
In Virginia, the sesquicentennial of the Civil War will provide the opportunity for a “Return to Bull Run"/Manassas (hopefully without the extreme heat), as well as events in Richmond, Fredericksburg, Winchester and Hampton Roads where the two ironclad warships Monitor and Merrimack (CSS Virginia) fought an historic battle.
In Alexandria, the war affected many parts of the city, so there is not necessarily one go to place for a commemoration event. An excellent starting place, however, is the City’s History Museum at the Lyceum.
Three months ago, they opened a new exhibit. Titled “Occupied City, Life in Civil War Alexandria,” and set for a stay until September 2013, the exhibit touches on Alexandrians and how they were affected or participated; the thorny issue, still discussed heatedly today of whether the Union invaded or liberated the city; the number of hospitals (about two dozen), and contrabands who poured into the city.
If you are a railroad aficionado, or “What Was There” buff, you will love the star of this show. A large map of the U.S. Military Railroad Station that was located at the corner of Henry and Wolfe, never before seen by these eyes, is a fascinating look at that area.
Be sure and also visit the permanent exhibit, which has some Civil War items, including part of the flag associated with the Marshall House incident. The third room sports a cannon from the War of 1812.
Admission is $2, they’re open at 10 am, and lunch spots are one block away on King Street.
The “Confederate Museum” (R.E. Lee Hall) is also close by. Check their website, as they are only open on special occasions.
I want to extend a special thanks to Dr. Don Dahmann, the church’s historian. Gracious with his time, he provided me with copies of some documents on Key, gave me a fascinating personal tour of inside the church, and answered all my questions.
After the death of George Washington in 1799, a group of prominent citizens in Alexandria formed the “Washington Society of Alexandria” (The Washington Society of Alexandria by Robert G. Whitton, Alexandria History, annual publication, 1982). The organization’s admiration and respect for the nation’s first president came easy. For fifty years prior, Washington called Alexandria a home away from home.
Prominent citizens were among the first members of the Society, including Chief Justice John Marshall, Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, George Washington Parke Custis (step grandson of Washington) and Key. The organization was dedicated to sponsoring events to remember our first president, as well as continuing his work with charities.
On February 22, 1814, the members met at Triplett’s Hotel. There is scant info on this hotel, but it was probably near Market Square, the city’s beehive of activity with many choices for tavern goers.
After conducting their business, the members marched ceremoniously to the Old Presbyterian Church at the northwest corner of S. Fairfax and Wolfe Streets. They were accompanied by the music and drum beats of Captain McKnight’s “Independent Blues” company.
Inside the church, Key gave the oration. In his book, “Washington, First in the Hearts of His Countrymen” (1932), William Buckner McGroarty (editor) provides the text of Key’s speech, over a dozen pages long.
Of the presentation, Myer notes that it was “the first time he spoke publicly of the tie between religion and patriotism.” Key’s audience that day was partly made up of patriots who had fought beside Washington in the Revolutionary War, men who would find a final resting place in the small graveyard behind the church.
Weybright notes the speech was a “plea for religious spirit instead of party spirit in the country.” Delaplaine reminds us what was on everyone’s mind – “the war clouds grew blacker and more ominous.” He also noted the distinction of the invitation to speak.
The building the congregation worships in today was rebuilt after the church was partially destroyed by a fire in 1835. One surviving peephole to its past is the clock that hangs behind the pews. The time stands still at 10:20, a tribute to Washington and the time he departed us.
Behind the church lies another window into some of Alexandria’s earliest chapters. Several prominent friends of Washington and important early citizens of distinction are buried there. The brick flounder house is the original Manse, built in 1787.
It’s not known how many times Key visited Alexandria, which was a half-dozen miles horse ride from his home in Georgetown, but a little fun can be had by speculating where he might have visited while in town.
Harry "Light Horse" Lee lived at a house on Cameron Street near Washington Street. They were both members of the Society.
Other buildings in existence in 1800 were the Carlyle House, Christ Church where Washington worshipped, Ramsay House, now the Visitors Center, and the Stabler-Leadbetter Pharmacy. And one can easily imagine Key taking steering his horse to the river for a waterside trot.
You got it Nats fans. The Florida Rock mixing tower behind Nationals Park was razed earlier this week, vanishing a long-standing and highly-visible eyesore to the city’s South Capitol Street gateway, to say nothing of getting rid of the dust that plagued the player’s entrance to the stadium.
The pitcher is Gio Gonzalez from the A’s. About him, the San Francisco Chronicle noted that:
Gonzalez will make the Nationals into potential contenders – the team has the makings of a top-notch rotation, and even with this deal, many good young players on the rise.
Gonzalez will be missed in Oakland’s clubhouse. He’s among the most likable players in the game – numerous Major League Baseball officials have told me that Gonzalez was their favorite All-Star this past summer because he was so friendly and treated everyone from the parking attendants to the fans to the sponsors beautifully.
By Jaded Roberts
Special from The Garlic Times
Winter solstice is taking place today. The weather in Washington didn’t get the memo.
The temperature reached 61 degrees at Reagan National Airport yesterday, with similar mild readings at Dulles and BWI. That’s about 16 degrees above average.
“Works for me,” said Luis Morales, a visitor from Miami.
While commuters and seasonal shoppers are praising the mild winter in the national capital region, snow lovers are not. Just one storm has come their way so far this winter, a system that ignored places like Alexandria. The official snow counter for the city shows a trace.
The snow is staying away from Washington, but the spirit of the snow lovers is not. They’ve put together a coalition made up of snow fans, meteorologists, ski slope operators and cold weather retail outlets. They plan to meet after the holidays in the mountains for a “snow summit.”
“It’s more like a rally,” said one organizer. “We’re trying to get The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore to lead a vigil and a snow dance.”
Some who have signed up said they will stay at the summit until it snows. Their hopes were raised yesterday with this headline.
That forecast puzzled a local weather expert in Washington. “I’m not sure what model they are looking at,” he said. “Next to no chance of the white stuff here.”
The chatter at the weather blogs died down early last night. One commenter’s post seemed to sum up the mood.
“I’m tired of the hyped-up forecasts, tired of the model runs, tired of all the talk. Canada, anyone?”
The rivalry between the District and Northern Virginia?
It flares up now and then, and it got ugly when both sides wanted the Expos franchise, but it’s mostly overrated.
Rivalries are often stoked to sell newspapers and grab eyeballs. This past March, however, Susan Anspach took the high road in a piece in Northern Virginia magazine. Basic message – “It’s time we call a truce in our sibling rivalry with D.C.”
Besides, in many ways, the region has come together as one. "DMV" promotes togetherness. Kojo's “DC Politics Hour” is now "The Politics Hour." Station wagons and SUV’s with Virginia license plates park on U Street and pile into Ben’s Chili Bowl. And when Loudoun County gets half a foot of snow, viewers across the country get the impression the same amount fell on the Capitol.
So, why am I writing this?
Well, I have a brother and two sisters. Love them, mean it, but it’s in our nature to feel some level of envy when the other one gets big attention.
Or in this case, tall attention.
Enter Arlington and Alexandria where two tall buildings will literally change the landscape of the region.
We’ll start in Rosslyn, where praise for this oncoming neighborhood is still met with rolling eyes that see only its soul-sapping canyons. That is certainly a fair observation, at least on the weekends, but this one-time industrial afterthought does have a great location on the shore of the Potomac and near the District’s edge, and is slowly building up its resume as an appealing, dare we say it, gateway? (Ah ha, rivalry is inherent in our language!)
For example, have you been to Artisphere yet? I know, it’s located across that silly, mind-numbing news ticker paid for by ABC7 News (because we like charming reminders of the days when a few gatekeepers -- there's that word again -- controlled the news).
But Artisphere is not only a cool looking building, it’s the kind of space communities need. The better half and I recently attended an Indian-influenced dance performance there of top-notch quality. Afterwards the dancers greeted the audience and held a dancing class.
Northern Virginia will never match the quantity of the District’s diverse culture, history and lifestyle options, but then again this isn’t a zero sum game.
Still the rivalry’s pot could simmer once again. While the biggest hole in the region right now is for the District’s fabulous “City Center,” there’s also a deep dig in the heart of Rosslyn. Real estate peepers have been following its progress at both DC Mud and DC Metrocentric. Just the other day, the latter posted:
We sure do love us some construction cams, and the folks at Monday Properties just put one up with a birds eye view of the work at 1812 North Moore in Rosslyn! The planned 35-story, 390 foot office building that broke ground in October, will be the regions tallest.
David Klion, a local blogger wrote a piece on the subject. He notes that the tallest building in DC:
…will, of course, not be in DC. It’s the newly approved tower in Rosslyn, the riverfront high-rise neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, scheduled to be completed in 2013.
He makes two good points:
It will seem taller than the Washington Monument, though, because Rosslyn is up on a hill overlooking the Potomac, whereas the National Mall is practically at sea level.
Advocates of height limit reform in DC, such as my friend Lydia DePillis, believe that DC will lose out on competition for jobs with the suburbs if it doesn’t let the market decide how tall its downtown should be. And with this building looming in the background of every westbound tourist photo from the Mall, it’s worth asking why the District should bother restricting vertical development.
While all eyes will soon be on this shimmering tower with killer views, there’s another giant in the making. In a spot you might not think it would happen, a neck bender is on the drawing boards for the Hoffman Town Center, just steps from the Eisenhower Avenue Metro stop.
One of the “Hoffman Towers” is on the specs to rise to 390 feet, which would make it the tallest in the region (although one wonders if 1812 Wilson will go higher). Its location six miles away from downtown DC puts it away from the center of Washington’s radar screen, but it will get a lot of attention from motorists passing by on the Beltway and Route 1. And since the only structure in its vicinity that will compete for eyeballs is the Washington Masonic Monument, it will stand out easily.
As I noted earlier, this story does not have to be couched in terms of a zero game and a rivalry, and not everyone here sees the Potomac as a dividing line.
Still, envy is part of our nature.
Here’s a brainteaser for you. When was the last time a new restaurant opened in Old Town Alexandria that did so in a new building?
I’ve been wracking my brain on that one, and coming up empty on that one.
The same question can be asked about Del Ray. Of course, these are historically protected districts so it’s not an extraordinary thing if it has been a while.
But with the opening of Pork Barrel BBQ in the heart of Del Ray, which is apparently the first new restaurant in a new place in Del Ray in 20 years, we can now ask the question -- Can a new restaurant fit in the fabric and be as charming as the older ones?
After three visits to this new restaurant in the heart of Del Ray, I say the answer is yes.
In terms of its design and sympathy with its surroundings, a good debate could be had, but dining here will melt away any architectural criticisms. The bar is first-class fabulous with a neatly invented beer tower that features Port City IPA, a local brewer near Duke Street. The chow is comfort food, the presentation of the vintage bottled drinks in a metal through gives off old-school appeal, and some of the help has deep roots in the community.
The third time I went was yesterday, when they debuted lunch service at noon (permanent lettering says 1130, so we’ll have to see). On Opening Night I had the pulled pork. Second time, the ribs. Yesterday, the brisket.
There are small criticisms. They have no paper menus to be handed out, but that’s a green thing we should all appreciate. The taking of the order and money is still a little slow but the food arrives fast enough.
The greatest asset Pork Barrel has is the guiding hand of owner Mango Mike. He even swung open their door on opening night. He’s also created a feeling. When you walk in, the place invites you to not be in a hurry.
The first night was crazy, but that doesn’t count. Everyone was just tinkled pink (sorry) that the doors had finally swung open. I attended their groundbreaking ceremony in the spring of 2009.
On my second visit I ordered to go, and then cozied up to the bar as I waited. Requisite pair of flat screens with ESPN but music not cranked up to dance levels. The hand-laid rock walls give off a western charm. The bar’s counters no doubt set them back an arm and a leg. Their selection of brews didn’t include my beloved Newcastle, so I put them to the test and asked for something similar. The bartender recommended a Bell’s Brown Ale. Sip, sip …. give that man a raise!
Yesterday I also waited at the bar but didn’t order a beer. I chatted Stu Ellis Jr., handling the flow duties. I told him I enjoyed the Bell’s Brown Ale from my previous visit. He flashed a smile and said, “great.”
Turns out Stu was born and raised in Del Ray. He told me how his grandparents met on the bus that served Mount Vernon Street, Del Ray’s main drag. He ended up moving to other parts of the area but came back home to find the connections to community he missed.
Notice I haven’t talked much about the food yet. If you’re a Tar Heel looking to re-connect with the que of your youth, forget about it bubba. In North Carolina, BBQ is a noun. Here and other places it is the process. They’re two different worlds.
Having said that, you still might want to take your visitors from the South here, at least those who like Collard Greens. And Mango Mike, the owner, even included “Cheerwine.”
Like I said, charming.
Have you ever had one of those sudden, time-shifting moments, where you’re engrossed in a book, your mind’s eye fixed on the scene it’s creating, only to be abruptly shaken back to the present?
We all have them, and I had an intense one yesterday. I was sitting in my car on Jefferson Avenue, steps from the Mall, content to have found that rare piece of prized property in DC, an empty spot in the free, three-hour zone.
Knowing the winter season would translate to little or no line, I had decided to take in the Star-Spangled Banner exhibit at the National Museum of American History. This is one of those places that Washingtonians list under, “Been meaning to go, but I’m not waiting 30 minutes in line.”
But with my interest in Key, this was a must-see. So as I waited in my car for 10 am to roll around, I read Anthony Pitch’s account of the British assault on Fort McHenry in his "The Burning of Washington." This magic man had me there on the night of September 14, 1814, as cannons roared, rockets exploded, and despair hung over Baltimore as the British launched shell after shell.
Suddenly, someone on busy 14th Street behind me laid on their horn. Startled, I looked up and was back in my car along the Mall, looking at the Capitol in front of me, our symbolic house the enemy had torched before their assault on Baltimore. And over my left shoulder, the White House, which was fire-worked too. And to my left, inside the museum, protected and preserved, the almost 200-year old flag that inspired Key to write “... was still there.”
Actually, some historians still debate about how long the huge flag (30x42) Mary Pickersgill and her helpers sewed, had flown over Fort McHenry. I found this out after entering the Museum and chatted up a docent who was preparing for the 10:15 guided tour. We discussed those middle days of September, 1814, when Francis Scott Key stayed up all night witnessing the constant bombing by General Ross’s forces.
One thought, the docent said, is that during the rain storm that pelted the battle area, Armistead ordered the 15-star flag lowered, and then hoisting up of the storm flag, also sewn by Pickersgill. Others say that the big flag flew all the time to serve its purpose of raising spirits and defying the lustful enemy.
I had been excited to finally see this flag that draws so many visitors to it, but what the docent said worried me. Was it the big flag that Key saw from the Tonnant in the dawn’s early light of September 14?
The guide said it would have to be, because Key could not have seen the smaller one in any detail.
Relieved, I took in, almost by myself, the Star-Spangled Banner exhibit. Frustrating you can’t take any pictures, even of the informative stations. But definately a must see, with artifacts, the flag, of course, and music playing, such as Jimi Hendrix’s controversial, but mesmerizing rendition at Woodstock (I happen to love it and think he meant no disrespect whatsoever).
I forgot to mention one thing. When 10 am was approaching, and the smattering of patrons waited outside for the Museum to open, a Joseph Henry re-enactor kept us entertained by talking about Washington. As the doors swung open, , he began to sing the national anthem with piped in music. About half went inside, while the other half of us quickly decided it was appropriate to turn around and face the nearest flag flying across the Mall at the Smithsonian Castle.
Don’t mean to be melodramatic, but standing there, the anthem transported me back again to Fort McHenry. I didn’t sing, but I followed the words more than ever before.
“Picture this: A sparkling ballpark planted on the eastern edge of an admirably redesigned South Capitol Street, just south of N Street SE. Lively nearby neighborhoods with apartment towers, rowhouses, hotels, offices, stores, cafes and restaurants.
A charming walk from the ballpark to a lovely green on the northern edge of the Anacostia River. A beautiful new bridge crossing the river. A dock for the ferries that will bring folks from Alexandria and Georgetown to the game. A view of the Capitol dome from the upper deck in right field.” – “A Perfect Setting for a Diamond,” Benjamin Forgey, Washington Post, September 25, 2004
With blogs, tweets, hyper-local news coverage, traffic cameras, Google Street View, and all the informational tools we have on the web these days, you don’t even have to physically be there to pay a neighborhood a visit. This aspect of the Digital Age has never been more true than at “Capitol Riverfront,” the neighborhood in Southeast DC that cozies up to Nationals Park. At her award-winning blog, Jacqueline Dupree covers “JDLand” like a blanket.
There’s still no substitute, however, for pounding the pavement with curiosity and camera in hand. So I decided to old school it last week, with a visit to the area east of the ballpark, also known as "Near Southeast."
Before we get to the photos I took, it’s worth mentioning the distance “Capitol Riverfront” has come. How much of an impact the Nationals and their ballpark have made financially on the neighborhood is a point of disagreement. An economist I am not, but I can say with much certainty that if something other than a ballpark went up at S. Capitol and Potomac, I would not have visited this neighborhood countless times like I have in the past ten years, and I would not be writing this article. And it’s fair to say a history of this part of the District can not be written without a chapter or two on the baseball stadium (be sure and check those real estate brochures).
After a tortured and drawn out process that seemed cruel at times to those who longed for major league baseball to return to Washington after a 33-year absence, District officials announced in September 2004 that the Southeast site had been selected. An article in the Washington Post noted the main reason was “its potential to spur economic development without causing a negative impact on a residential community” and the fact it was 40 percent vacant. A City official added, “The businesses are largely industrial.” The site was a block away from Metro stop and sported views of the Capitol.
However, during that long process of trying to overcome Peter Angelos’s objections, and at the same time select a site, it was not Southeast that everyone hailed. A handful of others - Mount Vernon Square (at least in the beginning), New York Avenue at N. Capitol, one near Union Station (which also dropped off), and RFK, emerged as the best candidates (a Banneker Overlook site near the SW Waterfront also briefly had legs).
The Washington Post published a series of pieces that handicapped each potential site. With Major League Baseball wanting a downtown site, Southeast/Anacostia Waterfront seemed doomed from the start.
Ultimately, Northern Virginia, which many thought would land the team, was unable to show Commissioner Bud Selig and the owners the money. In late 2004, the District finally approved the public funding (talk about a tortured process) and selected the Southeast site. With worries over cost and NIMBY, the downtown sites had fallen out of favor. RFK, never a serious player it seemed, was seen as too far away from restaurants and shops.
Although the recession would ultimately slow things down, the initial pace of re-development in “Near Southeast,” the name JD popularized for the boot-shaped hood she has followed for over ten years, kept ballpark peepers like myself visiting her site more than once a day. Before most knew it, the worn-down collection of dirty car repair shops and decrepit warehouses to the east of South Capitol Street were wiped clean. The concrete and glass ballpark went up in a record time of just twenty-three months (applaud, applaud). On March 30th, 2008, the Nationals christened the $600M stadium by beating the Braves 3 to 2. A sold out crowd and national audience on ESPN watched local hero Ryan Zimmerman clout a walk off solo shot in the bottom of the ninth.
The national economy still lags, but the focus is sharpening once again in this neighborhood. The Foundry Lofts is on its way to full occupancy next spring, the new 11th Street Bridge (the eastern border) is coming along, construction work continues on the new Canal Park for a summer 2012 opening (Park Tavern Restaurant on tap), and the riverfront walk is looking great with a recently opened pedestrian bridge that connects Yards Park to the ballpark’s lightly-used entrance at First and Potomac. The razing of the Florida Rock concrete plant, the dusty old eye-sore beside Diamond Teague Park, has begun, which will make way for a mixed-use waterfront complex.
Residents are mostly buzzing about the early 2013 opening of a Harris-Teeter grocery store at the corner of 4th and M, as well as a half-dozen new restaurants including a craft brewer, that will be located at the refurbished Boilermaker Shop.
Of course, everything is not rosy, especially for baseball fans. The “Ballpark District” in between the Centerfield entrance and Metro remains home to temporary outdoor beer gardens. Movement, however, could begin next year. A recent article in the Business Section of the Post notes:
Now many of those developers in the area, having held on through the depths of the recession, are dusting off their plans and lining up investors. Their fate could well be a harbinger for how well the region’s real estate community fares in 2012.
Capitol Riverfront’s cachet got a solid boost earlier this year when a group of real estate wizards tabbed it as one of five spots in and around DC that would likely see a growing numbers of homebuyers.
At her blog, JD noted:
Urban Turf asked a group of soothsayers to look ahead five years on which "unsung" DC neighborhoods would be attracting homebuyers five years from now. The "Southeast Waterfront" was one of the 'hoods (as once again people make clear that no name yet floated for the area is truly capturing the populace's fancy, which is why I stick with the REAL name ;-) ), and while it will take a while to be "fully realized," the writer reminds readers that Near Southeast has some pretty solid "bones": With "proximity to Capitol Hill, access to Metro and major roads, Nationals Park, a potential streetcar line, a waterfront park that I think will be one of the best in the city and of course the river[,] this neighborhood starts to make a lot of sense as a place to live."
Ok, as we wait for another Opening Day, let’s hit the streets near the ballpark, take some photos and imagine what things will be like here in the next five years, which will hopefully include MLB’s All-Star Game and dare we dream, a successful run to the postseason.
This is the skeleton of the Boilermaker Shop, with the Department of Transportation in the background. Scheduled to open by the end of next year, this place is going to be a thing of beauty, and the center of activity on game and other nights. Not sure if you can order a boilermaker here, but don’t bet against it!
This four-story building on the left was constructed in 1918, and was known as the Pattern and Joiner Shop. Re-developed into 170 high-end apartments. The first residents moved in during the last week of November. Ground floor retail will include a Potbelly Sandwich Shop and Kruba Thai & Sushi restaurant, set to open next year.
On the right -- Retail and office space, which will be killer location by the park and lots of glass for views. You can see a few panes already in place.
This is the 200-yard long bridge (foreground) that connects the Yards with Diamond Teague Park and the ballpark’s entrance at Potomac and First. It provided another link for the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, which when completed will run between a re-developed SW Waterfront and Bladensburg Marina Park in Prince George’s County, MD. (Bikers, get ready!)
Pedestrian Bridge with Light Tower
(In background) Atlantic Cities magazine recently named The Yards Park as one of the best in the nation. The photo they chose for their website is one of this pedestrian bridge. They noted:
Since it opened last year, Yards Park has given the emerging Navy Yard neighborhood an identity that goes beyond their new baseball stadium. Visually memorable design and a unique water feature will make this one of the best and most contemporary public spaces in D.C. for years to come.
This dog park is small, but very attractive. I chatted up a resident who was playing with his best friend. He said he loves the neighborhood.
This is the busy intersection of M and New Jersey Avenue, and the east side of the Metro. Note the food truck, hungry critters from DOT. Several years ago, this was where we met for a tour. Some very knowlegable lady named Dupree was our guide...
I had high hopes of eating lunch here, but nary an empty seat was to be found. Note to self: Pizza looks good. Try on weekend.
The Navy Yard, established in 1799, is the Navy’s oldest shore establishment in the United States. The Latrobe Gate is the oldest continuously manned U.S. Marine Corps sentry post in the U.S. War of 1812 commemoration events will surely be held here. The U.S. sloop-of-war Wasp was built in the Navy Yard and fought in one of the first engagements of the war. Naval personnel burned some of the installation to prevent capture by the British, who torched the place as part of their march on Washington in August 1814. The Latrobe Gate and Quarters A & B were the sole survivors.
Don’t worry, Disney has not landed in the District. This is the “Blue Castle,” an historic building on the corner of 8th and M. As JD noted in October, the building, also known as the Navy Yard Car Barn and currently used by two charter schools whose lease runs out in 2012, will be re-developed into mixed use. Hopefully the developer will fund some interpretive markers. Back when horse-drawn street cars were all the rage, a line ran between this turn-around station and the one in Georgetown by the Key Bridge. In fact the official name is the “Washington and Georgetown Railroad Car House.”
Canal Park (No photo, under construction - boo chain link fence)
So we’re not Florence. But this nifty new park will feature public sculptures, rain gardens, water fountains, ice skating, Park Tavern restaurant, café and space for concerts and public events. Opens in 2012!
Marine Barracks (no photo)
Every Marine out of boot camp is one sharp warrior, but some of their finest serve here. Established in 1801, this is the oldest post in the USMC, and their main parade grounds.
The spit-polish Marines you see performing ceremonial duties, honor guard, marching in parades, and providing security for the White House are based here.
A lot of honor and history here. Semper Fi!
If you’ve got time, a visit to Barracks Row is a fun walk that leads up to the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Warning though, once you pass under the Freeway, and even before really, you’re a long walk from the ballpark!
Sentry Tower at 4th and M (no photo)
This sentry tower, built in the Romanesque Revival style, and wall is another reminder of the Navy Yard’s footprint. In little over a year, it will guide shoppers to a new Harris-Teeter. Work is also set to begin on a 220-unit apartment building, and a gym.
To say the least, the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood has come a long way. There’s still work to be done, but like the team that plays on its western border, there’s been enough re-development to start anticipating and talking about even greater days, including streetcar service (the Anacostia line is expected to be completed in 2013). And perhaps one day, hopefully soon, both the neighborhood and its most magnetic tenant will blossom together in one exciting summer.