The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced 59 “Our Town” grant awards totaling more than $4.7 million, and an Arlington project is among the recipients.
Arlington Economic Development-Arlington Public Art has been granted $75,000 to develop a public art project in the planned Nauck Town Square, which is intended to be the anchor for the Nauck Village Center. The County Board must give final approval for the grant as a formality, and that’s expected in September.
“The residents of the Nauck Community are truly thankful to the National Endowment of the Arts for their grant to assist us in planning a Town Square where all can enjoy its benefits and especially learn the history of Arlington County’s oldest African American community dating back to 1844,” said Nauck Civic Association President Dr. Alfred O. Taylor, Jr.
The NEA received 254 applications from across the country for this year’s Our Town grants. Grant amounts ranged from $25,000 to $200,000 with a median grant amount of $50,000.
“It’s very competitive. We’re very excited to be one of 59 chosen from across the country,” said Public Art Administrator Angela Adams.
The Lucky Seven store, which closed after a fire last year, previously occupied the site but was torn down earlier this year. The county had purchased the property at 2406 S. Shirlington Road in 2010 for $1.4 million.
The square eventually will take up the entire block between 24th Road South and South Shirlington Road. The county website says, “It will serve as a gathering place for residents to host a variety of community events and an area to showcase the neighborhood’s rich cultural heritage with its collection of public art.”
Arlington Public Art has commissioned landscape architect and artist Walter Hood to devise the plaza’s final design. Hood will engage Nauck residents and community leaders in the design process to create a plaza that tells the story of the Nauck community and its heritage. Adams credits Hood’s involvement as one of the reasons the NEA considered Arlington for the grant.
“I think that what we’re going to get with Walter’s involvement is a very sophisticated design that continues to make great public spaces here looking contemporary and fresh, but also reflective of the community,” said Adams. “The Nauck community has waited a long time for this.”
Community meetings to discuss the design of the project are expected to start this fall and go into next year. Construction is expected to begin in 2015.
“The County is looking forward to engaging Nauck residents and community leaders in the process of designing the plaza and art elements,” said Helen Duong with the Arlington County Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development.
(Updated at 9:55 a.m.) A two alarm fire destroyed a house and sent two children to the hospital this morning.
The fire was reported at a home on the 2000 block of S. Lincoln Street, in the Nauck neighborhood, around 7:45 a.m. Two children who were inside the home were transported to Children’s Hospital for possible smoke inhalation. The fire was extinguished around 8:15 a.m.
Firefighters from Arlington and Alexandria responded to the blaze. The family that owns the home is being assisted by the Red Cross.
Fire photos courtesy @CAPT258 and Daniel Fitch
The former Lucky Seven store in Nauck, closed since a fire last summer, was recently torn down and will eventually become part of a park.
Before the fire, in 2010, the property (2406 S. Shirlington Road) was purchased by Arlington County for $1.4 million, according to property records. The purchase followed a public process in 2006 to design a “Nauck Town Square,” a central public gathering place for the community that complements the developing Nauck Village Center commercial district on Shirlington Road.
The “town square” would incorporate the existing green space on the block, the Lucky Seven property and a still-privately-owned property at 2400 S. Shirlington Road. The county is now in discussions with the owner of that property about a possible acquisition, according to Chikwe Njoku, the county’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program Coordinator.
The current design for the Nauck Town Square includes “a public plaza with outdoor seating, landscaped areas with a water feature, decorative lighting, public art, and displays featuring the history of the community,” according to the county website. It will also feature either an open-air pavilion or an enclosed public multipurpose facility, for hosting entertainment and community events.
“Once completed, this Square will encompass the entire block and host a variety of community events both formal and informal,” the county said. “Additionally, it will provide an outdoor location for public art, Nauck interpretative historical elements, and outdoor entertainment.”
Njoku said it’s impossible to know exactly when the project will move forward, since it depends on the purchase of private property. He also said that the plans for the town square are likely to be “slightly different” than those conceived in 2006.
“There is no official timeline for this project yet since we are still in discussions with the owners on the acquisition of the final parcel,” Njoku said. “However, we are planning to engage the community this Fall and revisit the design that was developed as part of the Nauck Town Square Charrette. We will have a better idea of the project timeline by the time we start that process.”
Javon Martin Trial Underway — The trial for Javon Martin, one of the men accused of killing Arlington resident Carl Diener in 2009, began on Monday. Attorneys for the Commonwealth spent much of Tuesday (January 29) presenting evidence against Martin. The other man accused of the crime, Martin’s cousin Roger Clark III, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder last year and is awaiting sentencing. [Washington Post]
Man Arrested for Attempted Rental Car Theft — Police arrested a man who caused a scene at Reagan National Airport on Tuesday morning. He was spotted running around the grounds of DCA and along the George Washington Parkway after allegedly trying to steal a rental car. Airport Police found 28-year-old Robert Cooper of Washington, DC in Crystal City a short time later and arrested him. Cooper has been charged with Attempted Grand Larceny.
Green Valley Pharmacy Receives Historic Designation — The Green Valley Pharmacy in the Nauck neighborhood has been approved by the County Board for designation as the 33rd Arlington Historic District. It is the first historically African American commercial building to be honored as an Arlington Historic District. The designation was granted not for the site’s architectural significance, but for the historical and cultural significance, as well as recognition for Dr. Leonard Muse’s lifetime of contributions to his community. [Arlington County]
New Recruits Sought for Civic Leadership Program — Arlington County is looking new recruits for its Neighborhood College program, which is a free, eight-session course to encourage civic engagement and help residents build leadership skills. Participants will learn how to become neighborhood advocates and how to bring about change for issues affecting the community. The sessions will be held each Thursday evening from April 4 to May 23. Applications for the 2013 Civic Leadership Development Program are due March 4, 2013. [Arlington County]
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) The Green Valley Pharmacy (2415 Shirlington Road) property in Nauck is expected to earn a local designation as an Arlington Historic District. The measure was requested by long-time property owner Dr. Leonard Muse, and needs approval from the County Board at its meeting on Saturday (January 26).
Dr. Muse submitted a formal letter in 2009, in addition to a petition of support with 143 signatures, requesting the status. Since then, the county’s Historic Preservation Program staff has been working with Dr. Muse to conduct research on the building and on Dr. Muse’s contributions to the community.
The structure originally was built as a grocery store in 1942, and Green Valley Pharmacy was established in 1952. The county staff report states that the site’s significance is not due to architectural history, but rather its cultural history. An excerpt from the report reads:
Although the building itself is of modest construction and has undergone some minor aesthetic alterations over time, it is Arlington’s only surviving example of an African American owned and operated pharmacy that has remained in continuous operation for 60 years. The pharmacy is the second oldest business in Nauck (the oldest by only a few months is the Friendly Cab Company) and has witnessed six decades worth of cultural and social history under management by the same owner. Into the 21st century, the Green Valley Pharmacy continues to be a popular community gathering place, serves as an important anchor of the Nauck neighborhood, and is an important physical reminder of both the impacts of racial segregation and Arlington’s mid-20th century African American commercial heritage.
The staff report also noted Dr. Muse’s accomplishment of becoming a registered pharmacist in Virginia in 1954, during “the challenging era of racial segregation and inequality.”
In order to receive historic designation, a site must meet at least two of eleven criteria listed in the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance. The Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) found that the property in question meets three of the criteria, and therefore is worthy of historic status.
Through the designation, the pharmacy building would be preserved. New construction may still occur on the site adjacent to or on top of the current building, but first must be reviewed by the HALRB to make sure it would be compatible with the historic district.
The staff report notes that the County Manager has agreed to use $2,000 in county funds for a historic marker on the Green Valley Pharmacy site.
Currently there are 32 buildings, sites or multi-property districts that have been designated as Arlington Historic Districts. The most recent addition was the Calloway Cemetery last year.
Photos via Arlington County
A new Chinese restaurant is coming to the Nauck neighborhood.
China House, at 2249 S. Shirlington Road, will offer Chinese cuisine via carry out and delivery. The restaurant is also applying for an ABC permit to serve beer.
An individual who answered the phone at a number listed for the restaurant said the owners expect to open in “a couple of weeks.”
Veterans Day Ceremony in Clarendon — Local VFW and American Legion posts jointly organized a Veterans Day ceremony at the Clarendon War Memorial on Sunday. At the annual remembrance ceremony a wreath was laid for Lance Cpl. Niall Coti-Sears, who was killed in Afghanistan this year. [MyFoxDC]
Reeves Farmhouse May Be Sold — The Arlington County Board is expected to decide whether to sell the historic Reeves farmhouse, at auction, for residential use. The county had been looking for ways to save the farmhouse for public use, but rejected a proposal to use it as a learning center, apparently due to the proposal not adequately providing for the high cost of needed repairs and renovations to the house. [WAMU]
Historic Status for Green Valley Pharmacy? -- Next month Arlington County Board members are scheduled to consider a proposal to designate the Green Valley Pharmacy a historic landmark business. The pharmacy opened in 1952 at 2415 Shirlington Road, in the neighborhood now known as Nauck. The county’s Historic Affairs and Landmarks Review Board supports the historic designation proposal. [Sun Gazette]
Shirlington Tree Lighting Two Weeks Away — Shirlington Village will hold its annual Christmas tree lighting event on Tuesday, Nov. 27. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99
The incident happened just before 11:00 yesterday (Monday) night. The officer was walking in the Nauck neighborhood when he heard a woman screaming for help. Using a flashlight, the officer located a man with his pants unbuttoned, attempting to rape a female victim in a wooded area on the 3500 block of 23rd Street S., in the area of the school and the Drew Community Center, according to police.
Dumfries, Va. resident Kenneth Staton, 34, was arrested and charged with attempted rape. He’s being held without bond.
According to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, Staton met the woman at a nearby bus stop, asked her for a cigarette, and started talking to her, before throwing her to the ground and attempting to rape her. The woman had a “busted lip” but did not require medical treatment, Sternbeck said.
Photo courtesy Arlington County Police Department
Park Contracts Approved — The Arlington County Board has voted unanimously to approve contracts for improvements to two county parks. The tiny 0.6 acre Nauck Park at 2600 19th Street S. will get a renovated restroom, new swings, a slide and a “spinner bowl.” Virginia Highlands Park, at 1600 S. Hayes Street, will get the county’s fourth “sprayground” park for children. [Arlington County]
Bus Stop Moved Away from Sex Offender — An Arlington mom has succeeded in getting Arlington Public Schools to move her middle-school-aged daughter’s bus stop further away from a convicted sex offender’s house. The stop was six homes away from the man’s house. APS spokeswoman Linda Erdos called WUSA 9′s story on the situation a “cheap shot.” [WUSA 9]
Board Approves ‘Citizens United’ Resolution — The County Board on Tuesday approved a resolution calling for a federal constitutional amendment to reverse the implications of the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision. [Sun Gazette]
The Board will consider a $573,000 contract to build a new “sprayground” at Virginia Highlands Park, at 1600 S. Hayes Street near Pentagon City. The park was originally scheduled to open this past Memorial Day, but the project has been beset by delays. According to the staff report, the project was finally put out for bid in May, only to have the bids from contractors all came in higher than expected.
The sprayground was redesigned in order to put it within budget. A new water re-circulation system, which should save 113,000 gallons of water per week, was put into place. The sprayground was also reduced in scale, and certain features like a steel fence and a designed rock structure were eliminated.
The Board will vote on whether to award a $521,000 contract contract with a $52,000 contingency to Southern Playground Corporation.
Planning for playground upgrades to the park began all the way back in 2004. Construction was finally set to get underway in 2008 — following a plan to enhance amenities at the park while removing an existing restroom — when the Nauck Civic Association request that all work on the project stop, so that the park could be redesigned in a way that would keep the restroom. In order to keep the project within budget, the county scaled down other planned amenities within the park.
On Saturday, the Board is scheduled to consider a $316,000 contract — $287,000 plus a $29,000 contingency — with Avon Corporation. The contract covers renovations to the playground and the bathroom, as well as accessible entrances, an accessible picnic area, benches and bicycle racks.
A man is in jail after allegedly beating up his roommate over money.
The incident happened yesterday (Tuesday) evening in the Nauck neighborhood. Police say a knife-wielding man beat up his roommate after accusing the victim of stealing several hundred dollars. Police responded and swarmed the area when a neighbor called police to report seeing the victim bleeding and hunched over outside the house, with the suspect standing by him with a knife in hand.
The victim — who wasn’t actually stabbed, according to police — was treated and released for minor injuries.
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 08/21/12, 3600 block of S. Kemper Road. On August 21 at 4:35 pm, two roommates got into a dispute over money and a physical altercation ensued. One of the roommates pulled a knife and beat up the victim roommate, who had to be transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. Jose Alejandro Mendez Cruz, 19, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. He was held without bond.
On Sunday morning, meanwhile, a suspect cut a hole in the metal security gate of a Pentagon City store and stole $28 in loose change. Police say the suspect could have gotten away with much more — $700 in cash was sitting next to one of the registers.
BURGLARY, 08/20/12, 1100 block of S. Hayes Street. Between 9:40 pm on August 19 and 9:40 am on August 20, an unknown subject(s) cut a hole in a metal security gate and entered a business, opting to steal approximately $28 in loose change instead of the $700 in cash next to the register. There is no suspect(s) description.
The rest of this weeks’s Arlington County crime report, after the jump.
A window washer is clinging to life after plummeting about 7 stories onto the sidewalk while working on a Rosslyn office building.
The incident was detailed in this week’s Arlington County crime report, although it’s not being investigated as a crime. Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said investigators believe the victim forgot to clip in his safety harness. He stepped over an edge, fell, and landed on the sidewalk near the entrance to the offices of WJLA (ABC 7).
INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT, 07/27/12, 1000 block of Wilson Boulevard. At 11:10 am on July 27, a worker fell approximately from the 7th floor while cleaning windows. Victim is currently in critical condition.
Also in this week’s crime report, a Nauck resident’s glass door was shattered by an apparently stray bullet.
MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED DWELLING, 07/29/12, 2100 block of S. Oxford Street. At 3:40 am on July 29, victim had the front glass door shattered by a bullet fired by an unknown suspect.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
The incident happened around 4:30 p.m. The approximately 40-year-old man was getting out of his truck outside his home, near the intersection of Walter Reed Drive and S. Oakland Street, when police say two pit bulls started attacking him without provocation. The dogs grabbed onto his arms as the man struggled, and as one of his sons watched from the truck.
“Someone call 911, the dogs are attacking my dad!” the boy screamed out of the truck’s window, according to police.
Another of the man’s sons ran out of the house and used a shoe in an attempt to fend off the dogs, according to an interview with the boy that aired on NBC 4. A neighbor called police, but the dogs let go and returned to their home before officers arrived. As the man was treated by paramedics, police located the dogs at a nearby townhouse. According to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, one of the dogs charged an officer and was shot dead. The other was captured without incident is being held by the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.
Neighbors have previously called police to report aggressive behavior by the dogs involved in today’s attack, Sternbeck told ARLnow.com. Investigators are still trying to get in contact with the dogs’ owner, he said. No word yet on whether any charges will be filed.
The victim was transported to George Washington University hospital for numerous puncture and bite wounds. Although the man lost a large quantity of blood, his injuries are thought to be non-life threatening, Sternbeck said.
A fire engine was called to the scene to wash the blood off of S. Oakland Street after the attack.
Members of the Nauck community gathered last night (Wednesday) for a softball game featuring radio personalities from WPGC (95.5 FM).
The game — between the WPGC “Naturals” softball team and a team of local residents — was part of the radio station’s “Knocking Violence Out the Park” campaign. The Naturals have previously faced off against teams of police officers and residents in various parts of D.C. and Maryland as part of the campaign.
There was a police presence at last night’s game, which was held at Drew Model Elementary School; a member of the Arlington County Police Department’s gang unit played on the Nauck community team.
Former candidate for County Board Terron Sims, who helped WPGC organize the event, said the game was all about bringing the community together in a fun way.
“This has been great,” he told ARLnow.com. “Everyone came together, we were able to get the permits we needed at the last minute for the field, the station came out, we were able to get the vendors to come out, the community’s out here… having a good time. ”
“The message is… about unifying the community in all our actions, whether it’s taking care of our kids, or crime prevention, or anything of that nature,” Sims continued. “It takes the community as a whole to move forward in a positive manner.”
In addition to the game itself, the event featured food vendors, kids activities, and a voter registration drive.
(Updated at 10:40 a.m.) About two dozen firefighters battled a fire at the Lucky Seven Food Mart at 2406 Shirlington Road in the Nauck neighborhood this morning.
The original call for smoke and flames coming from the store’s roof came in around 9:30 a.m., and drew firefighters from Arlington, Alexandria, Ft. Myer and Fairfax County.
Firefighters used picks and chainsaws to cut holes in the roof in an effort to extinguish the flames. Other firefighters inside the store used thermal imagers to find hotspots in the ceiling.
The spectacle attracted a crowd of nearly three dozen neighbors. Shirlington Road was closed in both directions during the fire, forcing cars and buses to find alternate routes.
No injuries were reported.