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|February 16, 1999
The Honorable Anthony A. Williams
Dear Mayor Williams:
I understand that Safeway has written you a letter taking issue with my objection that the Tivoli Theater, at Park and 14th Streets, N.W. in Ward One, not be demolished to make way for a parking lot.
I urge you to join with me in opposing this unnecessary demolition for these reasons.
First, we can have worthwhile economic development and historic preservation. In this particular case, the Columbia Heights need for a major grocery store can be met through the use of other parcels of land in this 10-acre RLA development. Indeed, Giant is now considering a proposal to construct a large-scale grocery on the west side of 14th Street, away from the Tivoli site.
Second, the Columbia Heights community has expressed its interest in preserving this historic landmark. Most recently, a year-long community cherette concluded that the Tivoli should not be demolished. Thus, the neighbors of the Tivoli have clearly spoken.
Finally, what prompts this rather stubborn position by Safeway is its determination to have a store that benefits from a right-turn-heading-north situation. In other words, Safeway wants a convenient turn-off for home-bound consumers. That market advantage which incidentally is something that Giant is not insisting on--compels Safeway to propose the sacrifice of a historic structure.
If the demolition of the Tivoli was the only answer to a major grocery store in Columbia Heights, the situation might be different. But in this case, that hard decision need not be considered. We can have the grocery store we need, and still preserve our neighborhood's historic structures. The only loser is Safeway, and they can credit that loss to self-centered stubbornness.
Mr. Mayor, I would appreciate your expression of support!
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