Ten residents of Georgetown's Hamilton Arms Village apartments, scheduled to move out of that eccentric landmark in mid-March so the property could be redeveloped, have stayed on and have gone to court to preserve the apartments.
Alan Voorhees, Richard C. Stauffer, and their associates plan to renovate and remodel the 31st Street Buildings into a residential and commercial enclave. But the remaining occupants of the 35-unit complex, which has been open since 1939, have formed a tenants association and have retained counsel.
They won an initial skirmish in April when the D.C. Rental Accommodations Office issued a provisional restraining order enjoining their eviction from the apartment complex. Ernest Henry, executor of the estate of the dead owner, petitioned in Landlord and Tenant Court that they be evicted.
The tenants charge that their notices for eviction should be set aside because they had been improperly filed.
Last month, Superior Court Judge Gladys Kessler refused to grant summary judgement to either side and said the case should ge to trial.
Because a jury trial can not take place until the fall, tenants are apparently assured one more summer in their moderate-rent apartments in the "village," which is an assemblage of paste-hued buildings. Tenants say they wish to preserve the complex because, in their opinion, it has "unique historic and artistic value." The apartments are among the few moderate-rent units in Georgetown.
Phyllis L. Britt of the tenants' association said they are "strongly against" architect Stauffer's plans which, as presented before the Fine Arts Commission, include underground parking, and the gutting and demolition of several structures.
The tenants have begun a fund-raising drive, starting with the sale of "Save Hamilton Arms" tee shirts.
Jane Ann Spotts is a resident of the Hamilton Arms.