Good morning Chairman Smith and members of the Committee on Housing and Urban Affairs. I am Lewis Lantz, Surveyor for the District of Columbia. I have been requested to testify regarding ownership and jurisdiction of Pennsylvania Avenue, north of the White House, between 15th and 17th Streets.
I have submitted 2 exhibits prepared on April 10, 1985 and May 22, 1985 by the then Acting Surveyor Ralph Sheaffer in response to an announcement in the Washington Post of March 27, 1985 that the Secret Service was considering a proposal to close the same portion of Pennsylvania Avenue to automible Traffic. Exhibit A, addresses Ownership and Exhibit B addresses Jurisdiction of the indicated portion of Pennsylvania Avenue. I have also submitted a copy of excerpts of correspondence, signed and sealed on March 2, 1797 from George Washington describing the metes and bounds of appropriation No. 1.
The entire street area between 17 and 15 Streets, from the back edge of the sidewalk on the south side extending 142 feet north to the squares 167 and 221 lies within the original City of Washington. The areas extending 90 feet south of square 167 and to the east side of Jackson Place and the area extending 90 feet south of square 221 and to the west side of Madison Place are original streets described in the metes and bounds of Appropriation No. 1.
The remaining area is part of Appropriation No. 1 shown on sheet IV of the King Plats (1803), one of 17 areas appropriated for theuse ofthe United States Government. Title tothe entire area is held by the United States.
Section 7 of the Act of 1802 incorporating the City of Washington states that the Corporation shall have the full power and authority to pass all by-laws and ordinances to keep in repair all necessary streets, avenues, drains and sewers, and to pass regulations necessary for the preservation of the same, agreeably to the plan of the said city. This jurisdiction applies to the 90 foot road ways adjacent to squares 167 and 221.
How or when the City assumed jurisdiction of the 90 foot wide by 726 foot long section between Jackson Place and Madison Place or the 16.6 feet wide portion of the avenue between 15th and 17th streets within Appropriation No. 1 has not been determined. I have included with my testimony a record of paving Pennsylvania Avenue between 15th and 17th streets as early as 1871.
There is no record of any transfer of jurisdiction of land within Appropriation No. 1 in the Office of the Surveyor.