Marjorie More remembers waiting for the building at 3801 Connectut Ave. NW to be completed so she could move in. That was 28 years ago. As the first tenant in the building, she chose the unit with the nest view of Melvin C. Hazen Park. "When I moved into this building in 1951, I knew this would be my home as long as I was in Washington," says the 72-year-old Moore.
Moore's resolve to keep her apartment remains strong, despite the possible threat posed by the issuance of a certificate of eligibility for the building. The certificate permits the owner of the building to convert the 300 apartments to condominums.
"I love this place," she says, gesturing from her rocking chair by the window. "I won't leave, I'll buy if I have to, but I won't leave."
Moore pays $234 a month for her one-bedroom apartment. As yet, there is no estimate of what it might cost to purchase the apartment as a condominium.
In many ways, the problem facing Moore is representative of the plight of many retired tenants in the District.
"Older people don't want to buy, even if they can," Moore says as she rocks gently and takes a puff of her cigarette. "Instead of acquiring things, they're getting rid of things."
Moore, who retired as a statistician for the federal government in 1968, says she enjoys Washington and has no plans to return to her native Minnesota.
"I came to Washington after getting my PHD from the University of Minnesota. There weren't many opportunities for women in statistics back then except with the government so I came to Washington," she says. "I like to go to the theater and concerts -- there isn't much of that in Minnesota."
As an afterthought she adds, "Washington is a lot like Minneapolis, though, a very beautiful city."
Moore first lived in a Washington hotel for women government workers, then moved to the Dupont Plaza hotel, where she waited for 3801 Connecticut Ave. NW to open.
"I've lived here longer than anywhere else," she says as she computes the number of years spent at home in Minnesota, at college and in Washington. "This is more than an apartment, this is my home.
"Frankly, if I had to go out and look for another place, I would panic. Especially after this place and my view. I am really concerned for all the older people here. "We're being pushed from pillar to post."
Moore is active in the tenants association and serves as a floor captain. In this capacity, she urges people to join the group. "I work hark with the people, as hard as I can. I even talk to people on the elevator about becoming members."
Carol Amanson, vice president of the tenants association, says her group is maintaining a defensive posture.
"We are not trying to buy the building right now, we're just organizing and trying to be ready if anything should happen."
Moore gases thoughtfully out the window at the lush greenery she has come to love.
"No, I'm sure I won't leave. Unless I can't take care of myself anymore, then I'll go back to Minnesota and live with my sister," she says. "But, you know, things are never the same as they were when you go back." CAPTION: Picture, Marjorie Moore in the apartment she has lived in 28 years. By Doug Chevalier -- The Washington Post