Citizen Testimonials

Yvonne Callahan
A longtime resident of a lean-to located on South Lee Street

Most of us remember the Board of Architectural Concept Review held in July of last year.  Many of the comments of the BAR members have entered the lexicon of Alexandria development disputes, where they will remain at the ready for future verbal jousting. Chief among them was the Chair’s add-on to the old saw about lipstick on a pig, when she observed that in this case “The pig is too big”.

In a Washington Business Journal article last September, Asland’s CEO, James Simmons III, provided us with some tone-deaf remarks which is more proof that this development does not belong anywhere in or near Old Town.

“I don’t believe any period of time in history should remain in stasis and that includes architecture. That includes buildings,” Simmons said. “Otherwise, we’d all be living in lean-tos.”


Excuse me? Isn’t the entire point of Old Town the preservation of historic architecture, historic streetscapes, and an historic ambience?  Old Town has been in the forefront of historic preservation for forty-five years, a point clearly missed by Mr. Simmons.


Another remark by Mr. Simmons also provides a crystal-clear acknowledgement that Asland has no interest in working with citizens and neighbors. “My hope is that between the city, the BAR and us as developers, we can come to an agreement,” Simmons said.

Hmm.  What is missing here? You have it.   The City, the BAR, and the developers are included here, but not the neighbors and citizens and those who care about the city and who oppose this monster development.  

Mr. Simmons never has had any intention of including us.  Even more reason to insist that the city give us our due recognition, the pesky neighbors and residents of Old Town.

Martha Raymond

Old Town Alexandria

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