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Parking Garage Under the National Mall?
   
November 22, 2013
 
 

Parking Garage Under
the National Mall?


Yesterday, we checked out an exhibit by a group proposing to build parking under the National Mall. (Finally, a chance to see where the Washington Monument goes at night.)

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The idea is a multi-functional space: a parking garage for 1,000 cars and buses, welcome center, food court, and even a storm water cistern that prevents the Mall and Federal Triangle areas from flooding. The exhibit—in 1000 Connecticut Ave, a building owned by philanthropist and real estate developer Albert Small, center, who's also the force behind this proposal—opens to the public today. Mr. Small, a Patton Boggs client, came up with the idea to make a Mall Underground in 1956 (and discussed it then with his friend Sidney Dewberry); he's been working with the National Coalition to Save Our Mall and architect Arthur Cotton Moore on this proposal for the past two years. We snapped Mr. Small with Arthur, Coalition chair Dr. Judy Scott Feldman and board member Ellen Goldstein, and Patton Boggs' Natalie Gewargis. They've consulted with 150 agencies and individuals and say each has given the thumbs up.

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Patton Boggs' Tom Downs and Craig Gaver (here with the firm's Milla Savelieff) have advised on the project. The idea's not a new one: a 2011 Federal Triangle flood study got approval from more than a dozen agencies to build a giant cistern under the mall—the only thing lacking was the funding—and Rome and Amsterdam both have underground parking. (Ellen tells us she and Judy even visited Rotterdam and Amsterdam for research.) The Mall Underground will be self-funding, built with private money and amortized through parking fees and restaurant rents. Any extra funds would go to the National Park Service for maintenance. L'Enfant designed the National Mall in the 18th century, says Albert (who actually owns those plans), and it's time for an update.

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The multi-media exhibit includes scale models of the garage (which would be located between the Smithsonian Castle and Natural History Museum), a 3-D video, and a history of flooding in and around the Mall. The next step, says Ellen, would be a time-limited commission formed to take the deep data they've collected and put it in a format to report to Congress and the President. You can take a look at the exhibit for the next month, Monday through Friday from 11am to 3pm.


The Firm with 12 SCOTUS Clerks in Two Years

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What's drawn six of the 39 Supreme Court clerks to Jones Day for the second year in a row? Yesterday we stopped by the firm's 51 Louisiana Ave DC office to meet the three 2012-2013 clerks who'll be based there: Emily Kennedy (Alito), Ryan Watson (Alito), and Charlotte Taylor (Sotomayor). Three others, Kenton Skarin (Thomas), David Morrell (Thomas), and Ian Samuel (Scalia) will join in Chicago, Houston, and New York respectively—expanding on last year's cross-country group, two clerks of which headed to Atlanta and Columbus. Ryan says that he wanted to join a practice where he'd have responsibility early on (his first brief is due in early December). Emily was looking for a strong appellate practice, but what clinched it for her were the great reviews she'd heard from previous clerks. Only two SCOTUS clerks hired since '07 have left Jones Day, one to become Ohio SG.

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Litigation partner Beth Heifetz has headed firmwide judicial clerk recruitment for the past eight years. She's a past Blackmun clerk herself—and has the bobble-head to prove it (just next to it, the stacking dolls were brought back from Ukraine by her husband, Dechert partner and former DOJ inspector general Glenn Fine). Beth tells us that it's the clerks' experiences at the firm, more so than any recruiting approach, that keeps more Supreme Court clerks joining. The work they get to do and their satisfaction with it brings word of mouth. She's been practicing appellate litigation for more than 25 years and is helping the next generation get started: Ryan began a couple of weeks ago, Emily will in early December, and Charlotte in early January.


Who Wins? Everybody Wins

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Last night was everybody's favorite lawyer trivia night, the Lawyers for Literacy Trivia Challenge at Kirkland & Ellis. A dozen teams from nine law firms competed over who knows more history stats and Breaking Bad factoids, all to raise funds for mentoring and literacy program Everybody Wins! DC. We snapped the winning team: Alston & Bird's Bird Brains, between quizmaster Neal Racioppo and EW!DC executive director Mary Salander.

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Sidley Austin senior counsel Dick Belanger and his trivia team. Dick's been volunteering with Everybody Wins for the past 17 years, reading to children at DC public schools once a week. The team may not have officially won the trivia-cup (second place went to Troutman Sanders and third to Skadden), but between the bar food, libations, and great cause, everybody wins.

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