Georgetown Observer October 19, 2011


OGB Approves Washington Harbour’s Redesigns and Ice Rink

With a few questions on details, the Old Georgetown Board approved Oct. 6 plans laid out by the owners of Washington Harbour, MRP Realty, which calls for a redesigned lower plaza, water fountain, pool and tower, with the addition of an outdoor ice skating rink.

Adding white noise to the retail parabola, the fountain would be redone with programs for water shows as well as become an ice skating rink between November and March. The 11,000-square-foot rink would be the largest ice sheet in D.C.

Construction is slated to begin spring 2012; skating might be possible by Thanksgiving or Christmas 2012.

Rubino to Set Down as Burleith Citizens Prez

Lenore Rubino announced her intentions to step down as president of the Burleith Citizens Association and called for Chris Clements to become the group’s next president.

“It has been an honor for me to serve as president for the past six years,” Rubino said. “Chris Clements has agreed to run for president of the BCA. He is an accomplished attorney and has represented Burleith in the Zoning Commission hearings. His intelligence and dedication has garnered the respect of the BCA board, the ANC and the Citizens Association of Georgetown.”

The BCA will meet Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at Duke Ellington High School to elect its new officers. Along with a police report, planned speakers include Councilmember Jack Evans and Rich Field, chair of the BCA’s Friends of Ellington Field & Gardens committee.

GU Plans for Athletic Center Criticized by OGB
Georgetown University’s proposals for an intercollegiate athletic center—a new 125,000 square-foot complex, next to McDonough Gym—were criticized at the Old Georgetown Board’s Oct. 6 meeting. Members found designs for the two-story structure awkward and blocking part of the gym’s main entrance. Some called for the building to be taller, given the university’s ever-tightening campus. Among other criticisms: a glass wall across from Reynolds Dormitory. 

The construction would eliminate the tennis courts next to the gym and threaten a very old tree nearby. Rooftop courts are now being considered. At the same time, the university needs to update its athletic facilities in general. Such plans have been on paper for several years.

Justine Mehlman, 1926 – 2011

Georgetown, in the minds eye, has always been a village that prides itself in its class—classy people, classy commerce, classy history.

For almost 20 years, Justine Mehlman provided her own brand of class and grace at 2824 Pennsylvania Ave., a stretch of the Avenue which hardly lacked for those qualities with galleries, a bookstore and the Four Seasons Hotel on hand.

But Justine Mehlman Antiques, which opened in 1990 and closed two years ago, was something special. Here you could find and learn about collection of rare, antique jewelry, as well as 19th and 20th century decorative arts. She later added to her collection with prints, watercolors, oils and men’s gifts and cufflinks.

She was without questions something of a legend in the world of collectors, with a bottomless knowledge of every item she owned and sold. Shopping in her store was something of an education and an experience in art appreciation, especially if you had a chance to look over her collections of Victorian Scottish Agate Jewelry or Georgian rings.

The store, of course, did not begin to tell the story of the life of an original, Brooklyn-born woman who worked from her teenaged years, was a dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company and performed classical music on the piano.

Justine Mehlman died after a battle with breast cancer on September 17. She was 85. At her bedside were her husband of 59 years, Sam, and her daughters Felice, Louise and Melissa.

The information in this story was provided by Louise Lipert Maery.

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