BID's Bistro Chair and Canal Mural Projects Begin
The Georgetown Business Improvement District has placed about 50 chairs around town for residents, workers and visitors in a pilot program "for pedestrian respite." Chairs are near the C&O Canal, at Washington Harbour, near Dean and Deluca and on Book Hill.
BID also begins its Georgetown Gongoozlers mural project (a “gongoozler” is an idler who stares at length at activity on a canal) Friday, Aug. 1. Artist Nena Depaz, the first of four local artists commissioned to produce a mural, will install a mixed-media work on construction barricades, covering the main entrance of the closed Latham Hotel at 3000 M St., NW.
According to the BID, "For the Bistro Chair pilot project, the BID team placed more than 50 BID-branded bistro chairs throughout the commercial district to provide opportunities for pedestrian respite. Beginning Friday, Aug. 1 and ending Jan. 5, 2015, four local artists will activate the former Latham Hotel façade with original art installations inspired by the nearby C&O Canal as part of the Georgetown Gongoozlers project."
BID said that it "commissioned the temporary, rotating artworks to improve the streetscape during construction, discourage illegal graffiti, and to help support community efforts to maintain and interpret the section of the C&O Canal that is adjacent to the hotel."
Here are more details from the Georgetown BID offices:
For the Bistro Chair pilot project, about 50 blue and gray chairs were imprinted with #GeorgetownDC on the seat to encourage visitors to “claim their seat” and share their Georgetown experience by tagging Instagram and Twitter photos. BID says that it plans to increase the number of chairs throughout Georgetown over the coming months.
The Georgetown Gongoozlers mural project celebrates the history and natural beauty of the C&O Canal. The murals will be exhibited sequentially on the façade between August and January (Nena Depaz, Aug. 1 to Sept. 4; Georgetown resident Sidney Lawrence, Sept. 5 to Oct. 15; Kelly Towles, Oct. 16 to Nov. 13; Ekaterina Krupko, Nov. 14 to Jan. 5). Each installation will later be auctioned to support historical interpretation efforts on the C&O Canal, including the construction of a new canal boat.
The public is encouraged to tag their best shot of Georgetown’s C&O Canal on Twitter or Instagram now through January 5 using #GeorgetownDC for a chance to win one of several prize packs. Prizes will include tickets to signature Georgetown events, including Taste of Georgetown Sept. 13, FAD (Fashion Art Design) Oct. 17 to 19, gifts from local merchants and more.
Both initiatives further action items found in Georgetown 2028, the BID’s 15-year action plan for the neighborhood. In order to establish Georgetown as friendlier pedestrian environment, and to encourage discovery, the plan includes the addition of temporary parklets, temporary sidewalk widening programs, increased programming south of M Street and a major renewal project to restore the canal and its boat.
Visit the Bistro Chair pilot program page on the BID’s website here; visit the Georgetown Gongoozlers project page here.