An article yesterday contained an incorrect identification of Rep. Stewart B. McKinney of Connecticut. McKinney, a Republican, is ranking minority member of the House District of Columbia Committee.
Some Washingtonians -- the ones trying to save old Rhodes Tavern from the vandals of contemporary commercialism -- should give thanks today that home rule is not absolute, that Congress still has a say in how the capital is run.
According to the House District Committee, once the citadel of congressional colonialism, 125 members of Congress from 33 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa have signed on as cosponsors of a resolution calling upon the District to maintain the homely but historic building that is a cornerstone of the city's heritage on its present site at 15th and F streets NW, facing the Treasury.
One might be tempted to call the resolution itself a form of colonialism, but consider who is its chief sponsor: Del. Walter E. Fauntroy (D-D.C.), a Washington native with unquestioned local-autonomy credentials, joined by one of the staunchest supporters of home rule, Rep. Stewart B. McKinney (R-Conn.), ranking minority member of the District Committee.
Rhodes Tavern, if you missed earlier chapters of its Perils-of-Pauline history, is Washington's original town hall and the place from which the conquering British general watched the burning of the White House in 1814. It's the oldest downtown commercial building.
But the Oliver T. Carr Co., looking for the biggest buck from its Metropolitan Square development, persuaded the city to let it tear the place down, or move it somewhere else.
A House District subcommittee will hold a hearing at 9:30 a.m. next Tuesday on the Fauntroy-McKinney resolution. Public opinions on either side are welcomed by the District Committee, at zip code 20515.