Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ken Wyban's Restored Victorian:
the Alfred Richards House;
Now it has no future


As of early morning May 30, 2006 I have not found any report, news account, or other indication yet of the status of Ken Wyban's restored Victorian house on the south side of N Street SE -- inside the Nationals Stadium complex footprint -- except for that from my return visit to Jacqueline Dupree's web site, where I found the middle of the three photos below replaced with the third photo


Photos by Jacqueline Dupree

Ken Wyban's house, demolished. This occurred apparantly sometime after Monday, May 15, the given demolition date for the houses to the right, or Wednesday, May 24, when the house is given as still being there, and before Sunday, May 28, 2006, when it is given as demolished.

From Jacqueline Dupree at http://www.jdland.com/dc/stadium.cfm?tab=no2

News Items Posted For This Project

Stadium Construction Update (5/28/06 09:00 AM)
The one structure on the stadium site that maybe should have been saved--the Victorian rowhouse at Van and N--was demolished late this week, leaving now just the buildings on the east side of Half Street between N and O as the only ones left to take down. I added a couple of new shots to the stadium construction gallery, although not a full complement (I'm being lazy this holiday weekend). I'll also note that the WashTimes ran its own piece on Saturday on the looming battle between the city and the Lerners over the parking garages....

Stadium Construction Update (5/24/06 11:30 AM)
Pile driving has begun at the ballpark site, at a spot just northwest of Ist and (formerly) O streets. And the red-brick car repair building on the west side of Half Street has now been demolished, leaving only the industrial buildings on the east side of Half and south side of N, plus Ken Wyban's house on N Street.

Another Day, Another Stadium Demolition Update (5/15/06 02:35 PM)
The four red-brick rowhouses on N Street between Van and South Capitol bit the dust today; my stadium construction gallery has before-and-after photos, as well as some updated shots of the demolition of the trash transfer garage at 1st and N. (Note that Ken Wyban's restored Victorian townhouse is still standing, at least as of today. Maybe they'll hang onto it for a while, and think about including it in any of the non-stadium entertainment development they might be planning for that spot?)

The houses shown demolished were on the south side of N Street SE. The area appears to be a part of the actual stadium in the earlier renderings. However, later renderings, such as that below, appear to shift the stadium slightly south, making room for an additional above ground structure (the likely western parking garage).

Nothing yet about this demolition in a Google new search.

It was built in the 1840's for its first owner, Washington, D.C. brick manufacturer Alfred Richards.

A link to a photo gallery by Elvert Xavier Barnes Photography about this Alfred Richards House that was demolished late May, 2006 for the Washington Nationals Stadium complex; the Alfred Richards House was located at
21 N Street SE,
Washington, D.C.:

From that site:

If current owner Ken Wyban, had his way the house at 21 N Street, in SE, WDC which was built in the 1840's by WDC brick manufacturer Alfred Richards would've been placed on the National Historic Preservation List, and, instead of being demolished to make way for the Washington Nationals Baseball Stadium it would be raised and relocated to a more suitable site, for operation as a bed and breakfast.
From NBC news at http://www.nbc4.com/news/4440977/detail.html
At American University, students have made a documentary about the relocation of these people and businesses.The class that produced the film -- which is called "In the Shadow: Stories From Southeast" -- is a mixture of journalism and film students working for social change.The students initially selected the topic of gentrification, but they narrowed it down to the impact of the stadium on a 28-acre area of southeast D.C.

Ken Wyban appears in the documentary. In April he received a letter from the city telling him he has until Dec. 31 to be out of his home. The city is taking his property, five other homes and 24 businesses through eminent domain."I'm going to try to deal with the city in good faith, but I know the city -- based on what I'm seeing -- has no intentions of dealing with us in good faith," he said.
I am not aware of any discussion or consideration about having Major League Baseball pay for the relocation, to avoid an Alfred Richards House demolition, as it would have been the only such structure within the Nationals Stadium complex footprint.

Nor have I found anything about whether such groups as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, had intervened.


Likewise, has anyone seen any discussions of alternatives for this stadium's design that would have instead incorporated the Alfred Richards House? From the diagram below, the Alfred Richards House was located by the group of 4 trees.

Illustration found at web site of Jacqueline Dupree

Perhaps when Nationals Stadium is demolished as a 20-30 year old eyesore -- much as the cir. 1980-2005 D.C. Convention Center was -- a replica of the Alfred Richards House may be constructed to face the eastern side of the South Capitol Street/Frederick Douglass Mall.

UPDATE: Displaced Man Regrets Ignorance of Eminent Domain

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