The remarkable growth of apartments and restaurants along 14th Street NW was very nicely described in “An unlikely catalyst in D.C.” [front page, July 22]. This fortunate condition may indeed be fascinating and anomalous, as D.C. Office of Planning Director Harriet Tregoning pointed out, but it is no accident. Her office deserves much of the credit for bringing long-standing D.C. planning and historic preservation initiatives to fruition.
The District established the 14th Street corridor as an Uptown Arts-Mixed Use zoning overlay in 1990 with incentives for stores, restaurants, residences and entertainment venues such as the Studio and Source theaters. The 14th Street and U Street neighborhoods’ historic districts, designated in 1994 and 1998, respectively, ensured protection of their rich architectural heritage. Since then, the Historic Preservation Review Board’s design review process is a large part of the reason for the street’s success. Developers and new condo owners have flocked to 14th Street because they know their investments will be protected by a system that preserves historic character while promoting a lively pedestrian street with creative architecture. The city’s top-notch planning, zoning and historic preservation programs rarely get the credit they deserve.
Rebecca Miller, Washington
The writer is executive director of the D.C. Preservation League.
Long gone are the days of my childhood home on Logan Circle in the 1980s. Goodbye to the ladies of the night, drug dealers and drunks. Hello novelty stores, peaceful yoga studios and phenomenal night life. Much of this transition is owed to the gay community and art gallery enthusiasts who took a risk. In particular, the bygone store Reincarnations and developer PN Hoffman deserve much credit for, before Whole Foods arrived, turning an edgy neighborhood into a success story.
Stephanie Mykonos, Washington