A House Not Worth Saving

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mary Rowse's last-minute appeal to save a Sears house [Close to Home, Nov. 4] was the latest salvo in her crusade to reverse history in our Palisades neighborhood. She has alienated many residents and public officials along the way. Fortunately, the democratic process has concluded, and the 48-year-old effort to expand the Palisades Recreation Center and make it more accessible to the public will succeed.

Ms. Rowse still refers to the house as "historic." Perhaps it hasn't sunk in yet that the District's Historic Preservation Review Board recently refused to so designate the house. This was a refreshing affirmation that historic preservation is a noble cause, not an activist's tool.

Ward 3 Council member Mary M. Cheh is fast becoming a hero in Palisades for protecting our park. Along with Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and his new parks director, Clark Ray, Ms. Cheh was instrumental in freeing the dilapidated house from the bureaucratic tangle Ms. Rowse helped create. The eyesore has now been condemned and will soon give way to a remarkable public space.

MARK BINSTED

Vice Chair

Palisades Recreation Advisory Council

Washington


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