Foxhall / Berkley / Palisades (September 9, 2019)
We started this evening’s walk in a development on the east side of Foxhall Road. The 17 acres on which the development stands was once owned by Mrs. Eugene B. Casey. Mrs. Casey had proposed building and giving a $50 million mayoral mansion to the District on the land. However, in 2003, her Foundation surprised the District by instead ceding the land to the Salvation Army, who in turn sold it to a developer and used the money to build a community center in Anacostia. There was speculation at the time that Mrs. Casey had grown weary of residents’ objections to portions of the project, particularly the foundation’s bid to annex four acres of federal parkland. It’s hard to imagine that the complaining neighbors have found themselves better off with a development of what looked to be maybe fifty or so houses than they would have been with one mayoral mansion. On the other hand, it’s also difficult to argue that the City is not better served by a community center in Anacostia than another mansion in Foxhall.
We did like this development much more than some of the other upmarket developments that we have come across. The houses were diverse, there were footpaths, and trees had been planted along the streets.
We then crossed over Foxhall Road and down into the Berkley / Palisades neighborhoods that straddle MacArthur Boulevard.
These houses were generally smaller than the mansions on the other side of Foxhall but the neighborhood appeared a lot more welcoming and we noticed more people out strolling. Here are some of the houses.
We also walked along MacArthur Boulevard with its nice collection of restaurants and stores. They include a CVS pharmacy, inhabiting what was once a 1000 seat theater built in 1946. In fact, the theater held the world premiere of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” in 1979. It seems sad to see a theater now housing a pharmacy but on the plus side, at least the building has been preserved.
Also lining MacArthur Boulevard is the Georgetown Reservoir. The reservoir was built in the mid to late 1800s and is part of the District’s water supply and treatment infrastructure system.
We passed by the Palisades Library
And this beautiful blue Mustang