Rooney Properties, who purchased the former Sweet Mango Cafe's foreclosed building at 3701 New Hampshire Avenue NW this past April, told the Washington Post that they are looking at options to save the Chuck Brown mural painted on the side of the building.
The developer's current plans call for construction to begin on the new building next summer and to find ways to preserve the mural. (See my previous article on the 21-unit building to replace Sweet Mango Cafe.) None of the plans seem to involve saving the actual wall where it now stands, but involve pictures or perhaps moving it someplace else.
“I love the mural,” said Lex Lefebvre, director of development for Rooney Properties, to the Washington Post this week. “We obviously know the mural has a lot of significance in the neighborhood and so we talked about a couple of ways we can incorporate it into the new project.”
While the mural is relatively recent, having been painted in 2012, it's a local favorite. There has been a fair amount of unhappiness at the potential loss of the mural (as well as Sweet Mango Cafe).
Apparently one of the ideas the developer has to preserve the mural is to take high-resolution photographs of the mural and hang photos in the lobby of the new building.
Another idea, according to Lefebvre, is that the wall facing north on New Hampshire Ave will be blank in the current design (as opposed to the southern facing wall the mural is now), and that perhaps that northern wall space can be used for a new mural.
The Post article states that: "But Lefebvre noted that the building’s neighbor is allowed to build against that wall, so the spot is not ideal. The mural could also be placed in the lobby of the apartment building or in one of the retail spaces. 'We are certainly looking at all options,' Lefebvre said."
There is a new restaurant, "3701 Jerk Station," temporarily in the building. They're hoping to reopen in the same location after the current building is torn down and the new building is completed.
Source: Washington Post