Chesapeake House to be renovated


Kassiani Antifantis, Junior Editor

Rounding the corner of Chesapeake Street and Belt Road, the Chesapeake House sits boarded-up, with ivy and leaves gripping its sides. 

On September 23, Freshman Assistant Principal Marc Minsker hosted a meeting to update the Jackson-Reed community and the National Park Service representative on the Chesapeake House renovations. On September 29, 2021, the general public held a meeting with the National Park Service, unveiling plans for Fort Reno: new lighting, new path, new stage. Ideas for a first floor community center and discussions of ward three establishing affordable housing with the Washington Interfaith Network were discussed. 

The Urban Investment Partners have suggested that NPS rehabilitate the dilapidated Chesapeake House as part of a “community benefits package,” Minsker said. 

Minsker shared that Rock Creek Park Superintendent Julia Washburn met in community meetings and forums in order to best determine the future of the Chesapeake House. 

“She met in late September with members of our Community Coalition for Change (CCC) and has agreed to work with our student organization at Jackson-Reed to design six interpretive exhibits that tell the whole history of Reno.” CCC is also working with Friendship Heights Alliance to display these educational panels in an upcoming exhibit starting November 5 at the Pepco Substation on Wisconsin Avenue. “[The Chesapeake house] behooves the NPS and the [Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners] to listen fully to all community members and to redesign the Chesapeake House as a center for educational outreach, for improved park programs that can benefit the young and the old, and for displaying scholarly exhibits that fully tell the sordid and the sublime history of Reno.” •