Howard Theatre Renovation Begins in August
At Thursday’s ANC1B meeting, Chip Ellis, head of the Howard Theatre’s restoration, announced that the much-delayed renovations will start in the last week of August. The theater, when it opens, will host R&B acts, jazz, and Sunday gospel brunches in a venue that Ellis describes as “cabaret style”.
Careful observers of the restoration sketch (above) will notice the statue at the top of the façade. Originally the theater featured a statue of Apollo playing the lyre; the new statue, fabricated in metal and lit with LEDs will be themed “the Jazz Man”. Mr. Ellis will return in a few months with design drawings.
When asked about parking, Mr. Ellis stated that the restoration project plans to partner with Howard University to offer parking in one of its lots a few blocks away on Georgia Avenue. He also proposed the idea of building a garage on the southern portion of the parking lot of Howard University Hospital.
We appreciate Mr. Ellis’s efforts restoring the Howard Theatre, but we would not welcome a parking garage on Georgia Avenue. A garage would contradict the Office of Planning’s DUKE Plan, which specifically calls for ground-floor retail and offices on that site. A street-fronting garage would deprive Georgia Avenue of the streetlife that retail uses generate.
Furthermore, since parking is a necessary component of driving; providing more parking will induce more driving, something the area suffers from already.