DC sign asks man to start giant transformers on sidewalk

Some Washington, DC residents aren’t fans of a pair of Transformers statues meeting their eyes in their neighborhood of Georgetown. And they could get their wish after a DC panel called on the landlord on Thursday to remove robots from the sidewalk.

Dr. Newton Howard, a billionaire neuroscientist from Georgetown University, owns the sculptures and placed them outside his home more than two years ago. A statue of Optimus Prime overlooks the street below while Bumblebee and another Transformer greet visitors on the ground.

The statues reportedly brought tourists, children and fans of the iconic franchise to the streets, and several visitors who spoke to Washington’s News4 seemed thrilled with their presence.

But complaints to several groups in the area show that not all neighbors liked seeing the Transformers rolling out on their block.

“It is clear that ‘transformer robot’ structures sitting on planters are clearly incompatible with the goal of preserving the historic nature of Georgetown,” reads a 2021 letter from six of Howard’s neighbors, according to WUSA9. .

“We’re not naive and understand why people stop and watch ‘Transformers.’ They must, however, be located in a place suitable for the safety of vehicular and pedestrian traffic and where residents will not share an unnecessary burden by their presence,” wrote Catherine Emmerson on behalf of a group of street citizens. Georgetown in March of this year. .

The complaints were enough to prompt DC’s Public Space Committee, a government body that decides on the use of public space for issues such as sidewalk cafes, to decide on Thursday that the robots should be removed. from the sidewalk, WUSA9 reported.

A separate three-person Federal Council – which would have approved the six-month installment of the statutes in 2021 – last month called on Howard to remove the bots.

Workmen stop to admire and photograph Bumblebee outside the entrance to Howard’s home in Georgetown in 2021.

DC Shadow Sen. Paul Strauss, an attorney representing Howard, argued at Thursday’s meeting that the bots do not “endanger” the public, according to DCist/WAMU.

“Allegations that they are contributing to dangerous trafficking or activity are just laughable,” he said.

Peter Cullen and Dan Gilvezan ― the voice actors of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, respectively, in the “Transformers” original series ― also joined the meeting in support of Howard’s pleas to keep the statues in place.

“Now I understand that some people think these statues don’t fit the character of the neighborhood, that they stick out like a sore thumb. Well, first of all, I don’t like to be compared to a sore thumb,” said said Gilvezan “A healthy, functioning thumb, maybe, but a sore thumb?”

“The Mandalorian” star Emily Swallow, who was born in DC and plays The Armorer in the “Star Wars” series, also testified in favor of Howard.

Strauss, in an interview with DCist/WAMU, responded to the committee’s decision and assured that the fight for the Autobots is “not over yet”.

“Obviously there are a variety of legal options, but we want to get a better idea of ​​whether it’s appropriate to reapply with some changes,” he said.

“Ultimately, this should be a decision made by DC residents, not federal appointees,” Strauss added. “Dr. Howard’s porch does not involve a federal interest.

The Huffington Gt

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