- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Residents of the Barney Circle neighborhood in Southeast rallied last night to persuade city leaders to allow construction of a privately funded, $50 million Arc de Triomphe-style monument to honor the nation's accomplishments.
Plans to erect the Millennium Monument hit a snag last month when the city's Transportation Department cited plans for revamping streets in the area as a reason not to approve construction plans.
Residents of Barney Circle west of where the John Philip Sousa Bridge crosses the Anacostia River near Capitol Hill have welcomed the project. About two dozen residents turned out last night on the steps of Providence Baptist Church.
"As a neighborhood, we're fully behind this because we see the benefits to us," said John Capozzi, former president of the Barney Circle Neighborhood Association.
Mr. Capozzi said he believes the project will encourage tourism and revitalization, adding that residents will persist in efforts to build the monument.
"I think it should be built," said Theodore Hill. "It would be something positive for our neighborhood because they seldom put anything positive in this neighborhood."
Mr. Hill, 71, has lived in Barney Circle for 46 years.
Project architect David Kitchens said planners had hoped to break ground on the monument next year.
The monument would stand 78 feet tall about the height of a six-story building and would be 54 feet wide and 54 feet deep, with an observation deck at the top. The project would include landscaping the two-acre plot, building an entrance to the adjacent Congressional Cemetery, and erecting colonnades on three sides of the monument.
Planners say it would not interfere with current roadways.
An e-mail message from a D.C. Transportation Department administrator to D.C. Council member Sharon Ambrose, Ward 6 Democrat, said plans for the Anacostia Watershed Initiative will require "extensive reconfiguration of the existing transportation infrastructure," making it "impossible to evaluate the appropriateness of any monument or adornment for this site."
The message was sent by Rick Rybeck, deputy administrator of transportation policy and planning.
Atlanta-based developer and philanthropist Rodney Cook Jr. planned the Millennium Monument as a gift to D.C. residents and part of a plan to rejoin the neighborhood with the Anacostia River.
Mr. Cook, 43, has invested about $1 million of his own money and more than two years into the plan.


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