Anyone who was wondering what ever happened to the house at the corner of Connecticut and 16th (see here), rest assured that it did not survive and is now a parking lot. As much as I was also hoping that the house would somehow be miraculously saved, I didn’t have much hope for it.
What I was hoping for and counting on was a parking lot that was sensitive to the rebounding neighborhood, and not just a giant swath of asphalt… which is what we got. I am aware the neighboring mosque needed the parking for its Friday evening worshipping ceremonies. The parking lot was inevitable I suppose. But there are a number of great (or merely better) examples of corner lots that incorporate everything from green berms to permeable cobblestones, to rain gardens that prevent the water from directly entering the City’s already overburdened combined sewer systems.
And let’s face it – while this parking lot is packed on Friday evenings, the rest of the week it sits glaringly empty.
Unfortunately there was no attempt made to soften what looks to be a significant neighborhood eyesore. I’m a fan of West Side diversity, and support the growing mosque, but it appears that at this stage in the West Side renaissance we could be making strides to create more aesthetically pleasing corners in areas where the community fights daily to maintain a sense of aesthetic dignity.
Isn’t this why we need to implement the Green Code design standards, and then enforce them?