There’s the crumbling façade of a historic house on N Street that, aside from a chain link fence securing it, has remained frozen in time while all of the adjacent properties were renovated, rented, or sold. A rowhouse on Ridge Street collapsed in the middle of the night in 2007, leaving an empty lot. Two blocks away, the 1970s-era “porto-library,” resembling a highway rest stop, stands boarded up on New York Avenue since it closed 2 years ago.
The Gray Administration must develop a comprehensive inventory of its property, carefully evaluate the city’s needs, and thoughtfully consider the ideas and preferences of those who live around the sites. He should quickly move vacant houses into affordable and market-rate housing, preserve our public treasures, and return the larger buildings to productive use.