July 06, 2010

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.

Categories: Development Projects, Howard Theatre
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2 Replies

  1. amen on “no garage”!

    there is a metro station half a block away, and many, many major bus lines (the 70s, the 90s) right out front at the corner.

    absolutely no need for a parking garage.

    IMGoph - July 9, 2010 @ 10:29 pm
  2. I do not believe it will start in August 2010. Maybe August 2012. Wasn’t the original plan to be done August 2010 so it could be open on the centennial?

    Raymo in LeDroit - July 19, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

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