Tudor Place development considered
October 4, 2010 | by G'town Gravyboat
Photo by RJSmithTudor Place Executive Director Leslie Buhler made the case for a $10 million+ expansion and renovation plan for the historic estate between 31st and 32nd Sts. NW before ANC 2E Monday night in anticipation of consideration by the Old Georgetown Board.
A group of neighbors, while voicing strong support for Tudor Place as an historic and community asset, expressed equally strong objections to the size and scope of the Tudor Place proposals, which include a new gatehouse, education and visitor centers and new storage and archive space. They pointed to negative effects on nearby residences, impacts on the the natural vegetation, degradation of the historic character of the site and what they predict will be an inevitable increase in visitors and events drawn to the new, bigger facilities.
“We completely value Tudor Place [but how] can there be no more visitors and no more foot traffic [with a new] education center?” asked Carl Colby, a neighbor on 32nd St. Others expressed fears that Tudor Place will have to increase public events with the accompanying traffic and parking pressures in order to support the upgrades in the long term.
Buhler insisted that development funds would be raised from current philanthropic and private sources. “We could never be able to raise this kind of money through more visitors and more events, and have not made plans to do so,” she said. Doing so would also violate current zoning restrictions, she said.
Tudor Place did not ask the ANC for formal approval or permits at the meeting, presenting a draft plan for the OGB and voicing support for continued dialogue with all parties.
"Tudor Place has done little to accommodate our concerns and has dismissed our proposed alternatives as inefficient or too expensive," said a public statement signed by over 60 residents, as reported in The Georgetown Dish.
The Citizens Association of Georgetown (CAG) echoed the neighbors' objections in a Sept. 28 statement: "CAG cannot support the revised plan in its current form as it does not alleviate the proposal’s significant negative impacts on the neighborhood and loss of integrity to the historic setting of the National Historic Landmark building within the Georgetown National Historic Landmark District."