City Desk

Chatter: Modern Vampires of the City

modernloveWhat you said about what we said last week

Who knew David Jameson’s rowhouses could cause such a, well, row? The modernist D.C. architect was the subject of last week’s cover story by Kriston Capps, and although Jameson specializes in small, residential projects, to read some commenters’ reactions you’d think he was the second coming of Le Corbusier, come to bulldoze whole neighborhoods with a malevolent aesthetic gesture. “If you want to see the sum total of what building like Jameson gives you, go to Paris,” commented Peter Cimato. “The city is a wonder, with timeless architecture that is beautiful, and then go to La Defense, where his philosophy can be seen in its full glory. It is a horror.”

Also on the apocalyptic tip: “This guy’s work is a joke, and the City Paper does a disservice to Washington by promoting it as good simply because it apes what is being done in New York and London,” wrote Anne Gee. “He knows not one thing about urban design. This stuff is, in the aggregate, destructive to cities.” She went on, “Since all his work is houses for the super-rich, I’ll first give you a list of architects with the same clientele, but who do a much better job: Muse Architects, David Jones, Alan Greenberg for traditional buildings. Prefer modern? Cunningham Quill, and Mark McInturf come to mind.”

Reader Matt parried: “Neither of the ‘modern’ architects you mentioned appear to build terribly modern homes. Both feature homes on their websites that are mostly traditional with perhaps contemporary aspects, whereas David Jameson appears to build truly cutting-edge, graceful, modern buildings. Sorry you don’t like modern architecture, but this is really a matter of taste and not objective (as you seem to think it is).”

Board Games

More than two years after it created the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability, the D.C. Council seems to be having second thoughts about the oversight body, as Will Sommer reported in last week’s Loose Lips column. One example? The issue of constituent service, on which the Council, BEGA and, apparently, our readers don’t all see eye to eye. “BEGA’s ruling on constituent services is consistent with separation of powers principles,” commented reader 7r3y3r. “The legislature enacts general laws and policies and oversees how the executive enacts them. The council isn’t supposed to meddle in operations so as to benefit one constituent, but rather look at the whole of who they represent.”

The issue, wrote Brett, “speaks to a larger issue with the current Council structure where there are too few at-large members relative to the ward-level members. The primary role of the Council should be conducting legislative and oversight duties, not constituent service (which can easily cross the line toward bending the rules for individual constituents). If the executive is not being responsive to the residents, then the mayor should be held accountable. Otherwise constituent services serve as incumbent-protection advantages for CMs who may not be particularly effective at their main jobs.”

Department of Corrections

Due to a reporting error, in last week's cover story the name of the Dahlonega Residence was misspelled. Also, the Spring Arts Guide published last week contained two editing errors. It listed the wrong address for the Gallery at Vivid Solutions, which is located at 1241 Good Hope Road SE. On March 1, it will move to 1231 Good Hope Road SE and change its name to Vivid Solutions Gallery. Also, a photo caption gave an incorrect date for a Linda Oh concert. She performs March 26 at Bethesda Blues & Jazz, not March 6.

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