The Week Ahead…And, Shotgun House Lives On

The Shotgun House at 1229 E Street, SE

The Shotgun House at 1229 E Street, SE

The Week Ahead…And, The Shotgun House Lives On

by Larry Janezich

Shotgun House

On September 18, the Historic Preservation Review Board reaffirmed the “shotgun house” at 1229 E Street, SE, is a contributing structure to the Capitol Hill Historic District and found the demolition of the property to be inconsistent with the purposes of the preservation act. The Board recommended denial of the permit to raze the building and urged staff to coordinate resolution of the longstanding issues at the property with other District agencies. (See CHC posting here:

The Week Ahead….

Tuesday, October 14

ANC6B meets at 7:00pm for its regular monthly meeting, in Hill Center.

Among items on the agenda:

Update from Fire and EMS Department: Eugene A. Jones, Interim DC Fire Chief

Substantial change to Ugly Mug’s alcohol beverage license, 723 8th Street, SE, expansion of second floor & addition of 144 seats (100), changing total capacity to 242 (189).  (See CHC posting here:

Red light camera request for Pennsylvania Avenue & 7th Street, SE.

2014 DC Circulator Transit Development Plan Update (See CHC posting here:

Tuesday, October 14

MPD Chief of Police Cathy Lanier is featured on “All Politics is Local,” with Tom Sherwood & Mark Segraves, from 7:00pm – 9:00pm at Hill Center.  This event is free.

Seating is on a first come, first served basis. Call here to register: 202-549-4172

Tuesday, October 14

At-Large DC Council candidates take questions from organizations and community leaders from around the city at 7:00pm, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D Street NW (Green Line – Gallery Place or Archives).  Free and Open to the Public

Tuesday, October 14

Ward 6 State Board of Education Candidates Forum, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, Eastern High School, 1700 E Capitol Street, SE.  Candidates: Mark Naydan & Joe Weedon.  More information here:

Wednesday, October 15

ANC6A Economic Development Committee meets at 7:00pm in the Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th Street, NE.

Among items on the agenda:

Gallaudet University – informational presentation regarding Gallaudet University’s application for further processing related to the construction of a new replacement dormitory for the Model Secondary School for the Deaf at the north end of the campus.

Request for a zoning variance for 1802 D Street, NE, to allow a child development center.

Request for a zoning variance for 1401 Florida Avenue, from height, parking, roof setback and HS Overlay requirements to allow construction of a multifamily residential building with ground floor retail.

Saturday, October 18

Second Ward 6 Fall Safety Festival, 11am to 4pm, Folger Park (3rd & D Streets SE).  The event is sponsored by Celebrate Capitol Hill and ANC6B in conjunction with the Annual Brent School Fall Festival.  Safety demonstrations, health screenings, light music, fire trucks and fun activities. More info:


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12 responses to “The Week Ahead…And, Shotgun House Lives On

  1. Has there been any thought to starting a “Friends of the Shot Gun House”, similar to the effort undertaken by “Friend of the Old Naval Hospital”?? I would love to see that structure restored and used for educational purposes. I’m a cultural geographer and would hate to see this historic home continue to languish.

  2. anon

    The Shotgun drama never goes away. What about 232 9th St SE? It looks equally decrepit and neglected due to benign neglect but doesn’t generate the same level of outrage. 820 C SE St didn’t generate so much outrage, even though it fell into such disrepair that the city had to demolish it with (the remaining vacant lot surrounded by affluent homes.

    I generally support historic preservation and I struggle to see the value in the Shotgun house, or retaining/preserving any other home teetering on the brink of collapse.

  3. Hill Feller

    I’m with Anon on this one. Christine, you are to be commended for actually offering to raise the money to do something with the house rather than impose those costs on others.

    As it happens, the owner (Larry Quillian) has offered to rent the house to the Capitol Hill Restoration Society for $1 / year to do with as they wish. The Restoration Society was terrifically interested…until they ran the numbers and realized that it was a financial loser. So now they just keep agitating to impose the costs that they wouldn’t bear on somebody else.

  4. E. Masquinongy

    The house has become a symbol of who has the authority; a pissing match.

    Problem is, as usually happens with such contests, both have lost: Mr Quillian clearly is out of lot of money, and the HPRB is about to lose because of the demolition-by-neglect. A cautionary tale.

    • Hill Feller

      Absolutely right! Most folks quit the process or knuckle under to the preservation crazies in the CHRS or the HPRB; but, Larry Quillian keeps not quitting or knuckling! A very odd situation in which neither group can dislodge the other.

      Something will break the logjam eventually but I wouldn’t bet on what that is or in whose favor the jam will break.

      • E. Masquinongy

        It is going to turn out like 820 C Street SE — a vacant lot that Quillian will own until he dies. Then his heirs will finally sell to a developer.

  5. anon

    The historic district incurs costs on everyone, but also generates benefit. Mr. Quillian happily dodges all the responsibility to gorge himself on the benefits.

    • mikenotike

      The Historic District benefits the busy-bodies who appoint themselves to it. Let them buy the property if they want it so badly.

      • anonyn

        The proposed assessment on the property has decreased 45% to $229,600 for 2015. Perhaps he will offer this property for sale at that price.

      • Hill Feller

        Mikenotike, Quillian has tried to rent it to the CHRS for $1/ year but they turned it down. Competing explanations, of course, but according to Quillian it just showed how they couldn’t make the place work economically any more than he could; the CHRS (I believe) said that after evaluating the possibility they were uncomfortable w/ him as a landlord.

        It is, without question, a “triangle of disappointment” –I don’t think the Restoration Society or Quillian have any incentive to compromise (Quillian enjoys the fight and the Restoration Society cannot afford the loss of face and the “intimidation factor” that would come from giving so much as an inch on such a high-profile case) and the District doesn’t have the power to force a resolution.

        But, it will get resolved one way or another eventually. These things can go on for a long time but cannot go on forever. If nothing else, it draws attention to trade-offs in preservation disputes and flaws in preservation law. And that is a virtue in a fast changing Historic District where an aging Restoration Society has power but not necessarily support.

      • E. Masquinongy

        When he made this purchase, Mr Quillian knew full well of the HPRB and its authority over making significant changes to this property. Moreover, he knew of its historical significance, that the boundaries of the historic district were drawn to specifically include this house. He walked into this with his eyes open.

  6. Brian Pate

    I feel like we’re falling short on the Shotgun house issue, and it’s a huge example of our Cap Hill penchant for self-inflicted wounds.

    To a large degree, Mr. Musky is right—this is a pissing match between a larger than life character and a well-meaning, but sometimes dogmatic Cap Hill institution.

    Mr. Quinlan is guilty of demolition by neglect, plain and simple. CHRS is willing to cut its nose off to spite its face in this case. The City, which last year passed new and rigorous demolition by neglect laws, and also has a raft of authorities tied to vacant and blighted laws, is feckless. A triangle of disappointment.

    It’s worth our effort to keep this case in the spotlight, as it is with all of our vacant and blighted properties (see ANC6B’s priority nuisance property list here: Perhaps that will ultimately break the log jam.