FFF Annual Meeting: May 9,
WestEnd25 Luxury Apartment to Host at
1255 25th St.
invite all residents of the neighborhood and all users of
Francis Field to join us at our annual Friends of Francis Field
membership meeting, which will be held on May 9, at 6:30 pm at
WestEnd25, the luxury apartment building across from the field
at 1255 25th Street NW.
Previous annual meetings have been held at the West End
Library, but we're delighted to have been invited to use the
beautiful first floor lounge at WestEnd25 this year.
If you haven't been inside this luixury residential building,
constructed in 2008-2009, we're sure you'll enjoy seeing it.
Another highlight of the meeting will be a presentation on
our old and new efforts to make
the field green.
This will include historical photographs, landscape
drawings, and the
architectural plan for the field that was approved in 2009.
We'll also update everyone on the status of an official dog
park, which is another of FFF's projects. Everyone is invited.
Come and meet your neighbors!
Serfs Swing at Duke Ellington Park
Fourth Annual Birthday Concert Held
on April 29
The weather wasn't perfect this year, but all else went well at
the Fourth Annual Duke Ellington Birthday Concert at Duke
Ellington Park in the West End on Monday, April 29, 2013.
again the featured band was King James and the Serfs of Swing,
made up of George Washington University students and members of
its music department faculty. They played the music of Duke
Ellington and other jazz greats between 4:00 and 6:00 pm, as a
living monument to Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, who was born
in the West End on April 29, 1899.
The featured speaker this year was Jack Evans, the District
Councilmember who in 2008 introduced the legislation to name for
Duke Ellington the triangular park at the intersection of M
Street, 21st Street and New Hampshire Avenue.
Also on hand this year was the new president of the Duke
Ellington Society, William McFadden, who is also editor of the
society's publication, Ellingtonia. The society's
founder, Theodore R. Hudson, also attended, as he has for each
of last four years.
The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District, which
maintains the park with flowers and landscaping, provided the
generator for the band and sound system, as well as a large
yellow tent, which really came in handy this year because of a
light rain that fell in the morning.
Coder, who formerly represented the park and most of the rest of
the West End on Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2A, passed the
baton to her colleague Florence Harmon, who now represents about
half of the West End due to the redistricting that took place
last year due to the growth of the neighborhood as reflected in
the 2010 census. It was Coder who introduced the resolution in
ANC-2A that got the park underway.
Turning out for the event for the first time this year were two
newly elected ANC commissioners, Peter Sacco and Jackson Carnes,
both of whom are George Washington University students.
Thus, the photo at left shows the political power from the
neighborhood that attended this year's concert; from left to
right: Sacco, Evans, Carnes, Coder, and Harmon.
And by the way, the location of Duke Ellington's birthplace can
be seen in the background of that group photo. Although the
house where Ellington was bornóat 2129 Ward Placeóhas been
torn down, a plaque and a mural mark the location today. The
mural can be seen in the upper left corner of the photo.
West End Friends, a committee of the Friends of Francis Field,
has organized the concert for the last four years as one of its
To see a map of the location, photos of past concerts, and more information,
go to the Duke Ellington
Park article on this website.
ANC Approves FFF as DPR
At its March 20, 2013, meeting, Advisory Neighborhood
Commission 2A (ANC-2A) unanimously approved a resolution
designating "the non-profit organization, Friends of Francis
Field, to be the official community representative for DPRís
Friends program for the purpose of a partnership with DPR to
continue to improve Francis Field."
This was a necessary requirement for FFF's application to the
"Friends of" program run by the Department of Parks and
Recreation (DPR), which establishes a formal relationship
between DPR and community organizations desiring to play a role
"in enhancing parks and recreation centers" through fund-raising
and other efforts.
filed its application for the program on September 24, 2012, and
documented the condition of the field at that time, as shown in
the photograph at right.
Although FFF obtained a similar resolution from ANC-2A in
June 2008, DPR's Office of Partnerships and Development
requested that we obtain a new letter. That office's Manager of
Park Partners and Community Engagement explained: "Although I
understand that your group is and has been working closely with
the ANC over the years, it is important that we verify that the
current community is aware of your activities and intentions and that it has been discussed in a recent ANC forum."
That discussion took place at two ANC-2A meetings, on
February 20 and on March 20, 2013, when the unanimous vote was
recorded. A copy of the complete resolution which also refers to
several of FFF's past efforts, is included on this website in
As part of the application, FFF was also requested to obtain, in
addition to the incorporation documents it provided as required,
a "Certificate of Good Standing" from the District's
corporations division of its Department of Consumer and
Regulatory Affairs. FFF obtained that document on February 7,
2013. (A copy of the
Certificate is also included on this website in PDF format.)
During the past seven years, FFF has been able to acquire
$350,000 in field improvements without being designated as an
official DPR partner, but we believe our partnership will he
helpful in our current campaign to make Francis Field green.
For more on that program, and information on how to donate to
this cause, see the article "Let's Make Francis Field
Green" which originated on this website on January 10,
Still Awaiting Word on Fire House Relocation
As this issue of the website goes on-line, we have heard no
news about the plans for the relocation of the West End Fire
House. As we reported in our November edition (see article)
Francis Field was being considered as a possible site for the
temporary fire station while a new one is being built; and there
was considerable opposition to using the field for that purpose.
Our request to the spokesperson for the Deputy Mayor for
Planning and Economic Development, made on January 10, has so
far gone unanswered. We will update the website with
developments as we become informed of them.
See Fire House Relocation article
from the November issue of this website.