President's Message

By Eric Langenbacher,


Before the summer lull sets in, there is a lot going on in the neighborhood. The BCA is hosting or co-hosting four events of interest in June. First, in conjunction with Georgetown University, the student body, Foxhall Village, and CAG, the BCA is co-hosting a meeting about the draft of the next campus plan, which will cover the next 20 years. Our community has been steadfastly represented on the Georgetown Community Partnership Steering Committee by Nan Bell. Nan has reported that she is very satisfied with the discussions thus far. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 6, at 6:30 pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church (3240 O Street).

Next is our spring community clean-up on the morning of Saturday, June 11, 9–11 am, as always organized by Janice Sims and supported by Georgetown University.

Third, at 7 pm on Thursday, June 16, we will host a community town hall meeting, at the former Corcoran School, devoted to “preserving and safeguarding the neighborhood’s character and heritage,” according to a by-law amendment recently adopted by the BCA Board. (Doors open at 6:30 for refreshments and a quiz testing your knowledge of our neighborhood history.) As I wrote in my May President’s Message, a committee—chaired by Carol Baume and Lenore Rubino—has been established to explore the possibility of obtaining historic designation for Burleith. It is important to note 1) that such a status would not be as stringent as Georgetown’s, but rather similar to what pertains to Foxhall Village; and 2) the BCA Board has not taken a position on the issue. Rather, the committee is investigating the process, researching the pros and cons, and developing a comprehensive outreach strategy. We now have a dedicated email address for all communications (hd@burleith. org), and there will soon be a page on the BCA website with links to a variety of documents and resources. The committee has just applied for a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and will also raise funds through the Burleith Community Fund. I think it’s essential for all homeowners in Burleith to familiarize themselves with the advantages and disadvantages of such a status. We want to hear from you. (For more background on the topic, please read the the June 3 and May 6 web articles and the flyer (a hard copy of which was included with the June Burleith Bell).

Finally, our annual summer picnic will be on June 18 from 3:30–7:30 pm at the Green Lot (Whitehaven and 37th). As in previous years, there will be a band, Rocklands BBQ, a raffle, a “top dog” competition, and fun for all age groups. Mayor Muriel Bowser has accepted our invitation to attend. We could always use volunteers, so if you’d like to help, please email Kay Twomey at

Infrastructure issues continue to be addressed. It appears that the water pipe replacement on 35th Street and Whitehaven Parkway has been completed. We will inquire about better repaving of the road surface. The improvements to 37th Street from Wisconsin Avenue to Reservoir Road began around May 26 with sidewalk and curb replacement. This will be followed by re-paving the roadway. New sidewalks and curbs were installed along 39th Street earlier this spring; hopefully the sod in the tree boxes will take root. The test borings for potential green infrastructure in various alleys have been completed, and we are awaiting information on next steps.

The fight against increased airplane noise continues. The courts recently declined the FAA’s motion to dismiss the communities’ lawsuit. Also, the DC Government has pledged $300,000 for a noise study. Many politicians, including Jack Evans, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and even Chris Van Hollen, have expressed their support for the cause. Ed Solomon, our ANC representative, deserves much credit for organizing and pushing this initiative.

Ed Ohl is replacing Walter Hillabrant as the listerv moderator. I'd like to thank Walter for his years of dedicated service.

Finally, many of you—like my wife and me—will be celebrating new graduates from high school, college, middle, or even elementary school. Congratulations to the class of 2016! Good luck with the next stage of your education and life! Your community is really proud of you!