December Membership Meeting

Monday, December 3

7:30 PM

International Student House

1825 R Street NW

Reports from Local Nonprofit Homeless Service Providers

We will hear the latest news from Charlie's Place, Miriam's Kitchen, Street Sense, Friendship Place and others about their programs. Learn how to take advantage of opportunities to volunteer with or donate to these essential local organizations.

Our meetings are always free and open to the public. Bring a friend or neighbor.

Masonic Development Update

On Thursday November 29, the DC Historic Preservation Review Board heard testimony about the residential development project planned by the Masonic Temple for its rear lot at S and 15th Streets directly behind the Temple. Public sentiment reflected by those who gave testimony was critical of the massing and size of the design by architectural firm Hickok Cole for developer Perseus, and found overall compatibility with the historic neighborhood lacking. Witnesses noted that the project as now planned will block views of the Temple from 15th Street. Designed by architect John Russell Pope, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Temple was intended to be seen from all sides, and features a dramatic rounded apse on the back. HPRB asked the developer to look for a way to preserve views and consider allowing public access to the entire exterior.

Witnesses also raised questions about two below-grade levels planned for habitation, another two levels of underground parking, the effect of traffic on the highly used two-way 15th Street bike lane, infrastructure pressures, underground water issues, and loss of green space.

No witness spoke in favor. Developer Perseus said many were in support of the project but did not attend due to "emotion" in the case. Several comments on Twitter seemed to find notable that many witnesses were apparently age 65+.

HPRB member Chris Landis commiserated with the community about the loss of green space but seemed to indicate the opportunity for "designation" had passed. HPRB members concurred with witnesses about some of the shortcomings of design. They asked for lowering the floor heights by one foot each, modifications to the window bays, and alternative treatment of the building's corners. HPRB Chair Marnique Heath instructed developer Perseus to refine the design, return to ANC2B and HPRB for approval, and to respond to the issues raised by the public.

HPRB also noted that some of the issues raised were political in nature and beyond its purview. DCCA had written to HPRB prior to the hearing requesting a postponement in view of conflicting information received regarding the need for and status of legislation pending before DC Council for a $22 million tax abatement for the project. Former Councilmember John Ray of Manatt Law representing the Temple told DCCA members at our November meeting the project as planned could not move forward without the abatement, while Adam Peters for developer Perseus said the abatement was not needed for the project to proceed. Communications Director Joe Florio of Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans' office (the Temple is located in Ward 2), told me that his office knows of no intention to move the legislation forward, and time is running out for the 15 days notice required of a hearing. Mr. Florio also said there were no grounds for last minunte emergency legislation. Sponsor of the legislation, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyon McDuffie, was quoted in the Washington Post saying the bill is dead. It expires on Dec 31, but can be reintroduced thereafter.

Robin Diener, President 

Click here Watch the HPRB hearing. Download and read DCCA testimony by board member Lance Salonia  and review the WashPost article about project and the article about below grade dwelling by GGW.

Good Will Organizing

For ten years, I’ve worked on Dupont’s House Tour. You’d think it would get easier. The fact is House Tour is a heavy lift. Ten homes, a major institution or two, with a sculpture garden or gallery thrown in, not to mention 150 volunteers, is a lot to organize. Every year we think we get started earlier but nonetheless find ourselves still worried at the eleventh hour, until magically things fall into place.


Actually, it’s not magic. It’s the good will of everyone who lives here and just crazy loves the place. There are coffeehouses to gather in for chat both on and off line, outdoor cafes where fellow passersby are hailed and well met, the proximity of shops, schools, parks, yoga studios, the Phillips Collection, the hardware store, the transit options, the walkability, the trees! It’s a village here in the middle of the nation’s capital, complete with our own aging-in-place organization—The Dupont Circle Village.


One of our homes this year is an example of how to downsize from a 3-story Victorian to an apartment house, and, while not “in place,” it’s just around the corner, and historic. Other grand homes on the tour include a mid-century modern built after the 1968 riots and 40 bank loan applications. Not to be missed is the architecturally renewed BarCode with its glass cube addition.


More modest (and adorable) homes also appear on the tour. Most folks don’t know that Dupont Circle is DC’s most densely-populated neighborhood. Apartment buildings were built long ago, along the streetcar lines—now bus routes. Dupont today benefits from the planning of yesteryear—yes, the L’Enfant Plan. While developers fight preservation throughout the country, District residents nominate new districts for protection (in 2018 alone Bloomingdale and Kingman Park received designation) and still the city grows. Historic districts like Dupont Circle are part of the city’s draw and an example of good planning.


Another exemplar of good planning is Karol Stanley, this year’s House Tour chair. No one is better organized or more cheerful about it. Working with her has been a pleasure and an honor. If you meet her along the tour today please thank her and implore her to help us again next year.


Finally, as always, we want to let you know where your money goes.The Tour is the Dupont Circle Citizens Association’s only fundraiser. Like all civics, DCCA serves as a voice for member concerns: education (the search for a new school chancellor), transportation (revitalizing our midcentury metro, incorporating new transit modes) and ending homelessness (including support for the public restroom initiative). Locally, we work on rat abatement, maintain parks, and provide a monthly forum for information and cultural exchange as well as neighborly gathering.


I am pleased to welcome you to the 51st Annual House Tour. Do allow time to partake of the “gently-priced” happy hour at the Ampeer after the tour. Hop a free pedicab to get there!


Robin Diener, President

2018 DCCA House Tour Site

Thank you to DCCA friends, sponsors, and attendees for helping

make the 2018 Dupont Circle House Tour a success.

Education Update

By Robin Diener...

Encouragingly, two major city-wide consultations were undertaken this summer. First, David Grosso, Chair of the Education & Library Committee of the DC Council, sponsored eight “youth-led” Education Town Halls at neighborhood libraries, one in each ward. Later, three DC Public School Chancellor Forums were held under the auspices of the Mayor’s Office to gather input on priorities for selecting the next Chancellor.

TheYouth Town Halls

These gatherings featured high school students as panelists voicing their own opinions. Outside of the panelists, however, few students attended. Audiences of 20-25 per ward consisted of local officials, political candidates, teachers, and parents. Chair Grosso personally attended and introduced all 8 sessions.The student panelists had been recommended by local institutions at the request of Grosso’s committee. Traditional public schools and charters were both represented. All the students were open and straightforward. They were supportive of each other, as well. Sadly, the young people had little positive to report about their education or school life. Their biggest concerns:

Lack of resources – schools lack computers, library books, AP classes, art, music, foreign language, after schools clubs, and sports teams.

Suspension – guidelines are unfair or unclear.

Lack of teachers, especially male teachers– many teachers leave after a few weeks or months, never to be replaced, and substitute teachers fill in for the remainder of the year. Panelists said more male teachers are needed in communities with fewer father figures.

Violence – is pervasive in many schools.

Uniforms – where required, are expensive, disliked, and often the cause of suspension. Kids get sent home for wearing the wrong shoes.

The Chancellor Forums

These were organized as round-table discussions, similar to Mayor Bowser’sannual budget town halls.Many parents attended, as well as teachers and officials.Each table was asked to consider several questions. Comments from the tables were delivered by a chosen representative. Each of the three events attracted 100-150 people. I attended 2 of the 3 events.

Attendees agreed on these three qualities /skills in a new Chancellor:

1) Visionary – inspiring yet pragmatic. “Something different needs to be done” but Chancellor must be able to articulate “how we get there.” Vision must center onequity and provide holistic and family oriented approach with wraparound services. Make all schools high performing – with the goal to abolish the lottery.

2) Teacher Committed – an administrator should have teaching experience and demonstrated teacher empathy with a goal to ensure trust.

3) DC Knowledgable – many felt strongly that first-hand experience of DC’s culture, geography, economic pressures and local political landscape is a priority.

My personal takeaway from the Youth-Led Town Halls was that these young people, and by extension countless others,have been cheated of the learning outcomes afforded by a stable and effective educational environment, such as they (and we) are owed by public education. The Chancellor Forums were forward focused and felt far more positive. However, they did not concretely address any of the problems raised by the kids in the earlier town halls. As far as I know, there was no cross pollination.

Read more about the three Chancellor Forums here:

Look for "Forum Notes PDF" in the far column under Materials .

Identify your priorities for a Chancellor in this survey:

Volunteers Needed to Maintain Neighborhood Parks

Join or Renew Your DCCA Membership Today!

DCCA membership is open to residents, businesses and supporters of the Dupont Circle neighborhood

according to the Association's Bylaws. Benefits include discounts from Preferred Merchants, community

service events and social get-togethers!


Returning members, please click log into your profile above with your email address and password.

New members (or if you have not created a membership profile), please click here to join.

To join or renew by mail, please download our 2018 Membership Application Form and mail it to:

DCCA, 9 Dupont Circle, NW 20036.

Supporting Our Community

DCCA Community Grant Applications
DCCA makes grants from funds raised by the annual House Tour for the activities and projects of local organizations that further DCCA’s mission. Examples of recent DCCA grants include those to neighborhood organizations that serve individuals who are homeless or have mental illness, such as Charlie’s Place and Green Door, grants for programs and events to Dupont Circle Village and Dupont Festival, and a grant to the Ross Elementary School PTA for playground equipment.
DCCA’s Community Grants Policy and Grant Application Form are now available on the DCCA website. Applications for grants to support an organization’s ongoing activities are due by December 1st for consideration for funding at the Board of Director’s meeting in January.  Organizations may also submit grant applications for one-time events or needs throughout the year. The Board will act on such applications on a rolling basis, with decisions typically provided within two months.

2017 Cherry Blossoms by Phil Carney


2126 & 2128 N Street NW are two elegant buildings just outside the Dupont Circle Historic District, but within the Dupont Circle neighborhood.  They are slated for razing to make way for a larger condominium building to occupy their lots as well as two adjacent currently empty lots.  The new building promises to be a welcome addition to the neighborhood with its quality construction and luxury condominium units.

In line with the Dupont Circle Citizens’ Association’s (DCCA’s) firm belief in preserving the neighborhood’s  unique assets, as well as conserving the environment through ‘Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle’, DCCA has made arrangements with the developer, J Street Companies, to offer these buildings (or their ornate facades) to anyone promising to make good use of them in a residential or commercial application.  They’re free for the taking. 

The receiver of the buildings would be responsible for obtaining proper permits and arranging for the move, however DCCA and J Street Companies would be available to provide some guidance.

It’s anticipated that construction for the new building on the site will start in early June, so anyone interested needs to express their interest immediately.  We will forward inquiries on to J Street Companies.  Again, they are free for the taking.  And as the photo shows, could add considerable interest to any new construction project in the area.

Please contact DCCA at

Fight Graffiti Vandalism and Keep our Dupont Neighborhood Beautiful

Graffiti vandalism is a major problem in our Dupont neighborhood and the District of Columbia. If not removed, graffiti is a visual blight; reduces property values; increases criminal activity and gives the impression to residents, businesses and visitors that we do not care about our neighborhood.  Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) is committed to maintaining and improving the quality of life for everyone in our neighborhood.  The best way to fight graffiti vandalism is prompt removal and, if needed, continual prompt removal. 

The DC government will remove or paint over graffiti vandalism on public space or private property.  Simply call 311 and provide a specific address.  To clean private property, the building owner’s permission is required before cleaning.  311 can provide the required private property permission formThe signed form must be faxed to (202) 645-5392.

Graffiti includes paint, gummed labels and pasted paper.

If you have any questions or want experienced graffiti fighting neighbors to help remove or paint over graffiti vandalism or want to help DCCA fight this neighborhood blight, please call Phil Carney at 202-462-2776.

Founded in 1922 in a townhouse at 1767 P Street, to promote and protect the interests of the residents, the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) is the premier civic and residential organization in the Dupont Circle area.

DCCA brings neighbors, including residents, businesses and non-profit organizations, together to improve the quality of life in an active and diverse urban neighborhood. It holds membership meetings 9 times each year, which are open to the public, runs the Dupont Circle House Tour, resolves neighborhood issues through its committees, donates to local causes, and incubates innovative projects.

Dupont Circle Citizens Association | 9 Dupont Circle, NW | Washington, DC 20036

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