Arts Desk

No Hostel for 52 O Street Artist Studios

Buildings performs at 52 O Street Studios in front of an artwork by Stephen Crouch.

It's a banner day for jocks in the District: Last night, the Wizards, Nats, and Caps all pulled off big wins. Which leads, well, me to ask: Can artists get a taste?

Looks like the answer's yes. Marty Youmans, the owner of the building of artist studios and live/work spaces at 52 O St. NW, is abandoning his plans to turn part of the building into a youth hostel. Youmans says the decision was simple: His resident artists didn't care for the idea.

"That’s right—it’s not happening," Youmans says. "O Studios were never jeopardized as was feared, but that portion of the first level earmarked for the hostel will not be converted. My tenants were skittish, and it was enough for me to abandon the plans."

One of those tenants appears to feel more like she's won the first round than taken home the Cup. "Legally, he didn't have the right" to evict the handful of resident-artists, says Lisa Marie Thalhammer. She says that Youmans no longer intends to turn the studios into a hostel "for now," but that the artists at O Street still need to organize. "We need to make a plan so that 52 O is still artist studios 50 years from now, when I'm no longer living there."

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