Shaw Streets – October 2017

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Jennifer Shannon performs her bubble art at the Alley-Oop Festival. Photo by Pleasant Mann
Shaw could win this building at 1537 Seventh Street a big preservation grant with enough votes. Photo by Pleasant Mann

Shaw Competing for Preservation Grant
Over the next month, the public can vote for the restoration of an historic “Ugly Duckling” building in the Shaw neighborhood. This is made possible by The Partners in Preservation: Main Streets campaign presented by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Shaw’s entry into the competitive campaign is at 1537 Seventh St. NW. The two-story building was built in 1881 as a blacksmith shop that is now home to Ivy & Coney, a Chicago and Detroit-themed sports bar. The building’s ground floor retail space is currently vacant.

Today, the façade of the building is covered in stucco and vinyl siding. The preservation project would remove these materials to discover what original elements are present and then restore the building to its historic appearance.

Partners in Preservation: Main Streets will award $2 million in grant funding from American Express to Main Street districts in need of preservation support across America. The public will determine which of the 25 sites in the competition will receive funding by voting for their favorite Main Streets projects through Oct. 31 at VoteYourMainStreet.org. Shaw Main Street has launched the “Forge the Future in Shaw” campaign to get out the vote for 1537 Seventh St. The winners of the Partners in Preservation: Main Streets grants will be announced on Nov. 2.

Shaw Main Streets Open House Oct. 7
Shaw Main Streets holds its fall Open House on Oct. 7. This semi-annual event highlights neighborhood businesses. This year’s event showcases the restaurants, bars, clothing shops and other exceptional retail north of Rhode Island Avenue NW.

The Open House works like this. Attendees pick up a free Shaw Open House passport at either Bazaar Spices (2130 Eighth St. NW) or Ivy and Coney (1537 Seventh St. NW) starting at 1 p.m. They take their passports to participating Shaw businesses to receive freebies and validation stickers that allow the bearer to enter the Open House raffle for prizes at the end of the day.

The Open House ends at 5 p.m. with a close-out party. The party kick-offs the “Forge the Future in Shaw” campaign to rehabilitate Ivy & Coney’s building. Guests will cast their first votes and learn how they can help 1537 Seventh Street win the Partners in Preservation competition.

Ribbon cut to dedicate new murals in the DC Alley Museum. Photo by Pleasant Mann

Alley-Oop Festival in Blagden Alley
The DC Alley Museum held a two-day Alley-Oop Murals and Music Festival, Sept. 23 and 24, to mark the recent completion of five new murals in Blagden Alley. The first night of the festival was held in collaboration with Shaw’s Art All Night. The next day saw a dedication ceremony for the new murals as well as other art-related activities. The event was presented by Shaw Main Streets in conjunction with the DC Alley Museum with major funding from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and support from Douglas Development and other sponsors.

Dog Days at Shaw Farmers Market. Courtesy Community Foodworks

The dedication ceremony started with a speech from Bill Warrell, artist and co-founder of the Alley Museum. Warrell noted Blagden Alley’s history as a haven for artists over the past decades. Gretchen Wharton, a board member of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and Shaw Main Streets Executive Director Alexander Padro spoke on the importance of the District’s support of local artists, as demonstrated by the alley festival. A ribbon was then cut in front of Warrell’s mural “AEC vs. The Pension Building (Great Black Music: Ancient to the Future).”