Stop-Work Order on Grace Street Gets Classic Georgetown Postscript


A neighbor alerted the Georgetowner Sept. 20 about a stop-work order by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for the small corner condominium construction at 3220 Grace St., NW. The permit cited retaining wall work that lacked permits. All construction at the site has stopped.

The project itself has gone through major changes because of challenges from Georgetown’s influential Advisory Neighborhood Commission as well as the powerful Old Georgetown Board, an advisory committee of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.

Such a shutdown may seem ordinary or routine. Yet it was the added postscript under the order that caught our eye, thanks to our neighbor. It has a classic Georgetown ring to it, helpful but not too haughty.

The unsigned letter is a succinct rebuff and quite the advertisement for one of Georgetown’s favorite architects. It reads:

“Now that the property value of the neighbor has been saved from this incredibly ugly building, please do yourselves and the neighborhood a favor.

“Walk a quarter of a block east and knock on Frank Schlesinger’s door. Let him design a nice set of row houses in keeping with historic beauty of the street you seem hell bent on destroying.

“Frank designed 3303 Water Street and 3336 Cady’s Alley. He made everyone a lot of money with great designs. Please let him do the same for you. Please. Really . . . PLEASE.”

Reporting on the same story, Georgetown Patch earlier contacted Larry Parker of DCRA. He responded to Patch, which explained, ” . . . the stop work order was probably issued for work outside of the parameters of the permits issued for the site, which include a permit for a retaining wall. He also said the permits were not posted anywhere on the site, which could also lead to the stop work order.”

Let’s see if Schlesinger gets a new account.

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