If there is anything that characterizes the Lafayette Square neighborhood it’s the sense of community. Whether you live in the Square or are a frequent visitor to the park, the shops, the restaurants, or to the home of friends, you’ve probably noticed that people here like to come together to drink coffee or wine, walk their dogs or play with their kids, share their hobbies, and just stand and chat with a chance-met acquaintance.
So when a crisis hits that makes getting together in person inadvisable we have to find other ways to come together and stay safe and supported.
The Lafayette Square Restoration Committee (LSRC) Board has been in constant communication about what measures and recommendations will best serve our community during the pandemic. To that end, we’ll be updating this post regularly with resources, announcements, and suggestions.
UPDATED CONTACTS FOR CITY PERSONNEL:
Alderman Jack Coatar provided this contact list. Please download, share with your neighbors, and refer to it as necessary.
FROM LSRC PRESIDENT, MATT NEGRI
Subject: Impact of COVID-19 (Corona Virus) on Lafayette Square
On behalf of the LSRC I would like to reach out to all residents and businesses of Lafayette Square to let them know that the LSRC is interacting with federal, state and local agencies to prepare for the impact of the COVID-19 virus. This initial email will be followed up with a series of updates. Because of the complexity of the situation and the fluid nature of information, the messages will be sent out by subject matter. Information will be sent out by email to LSRC members as well as posted on the Next Door and Facebook groups and updated here.
Current update topics are:
● Supporting Lafayette Square Neighbors at Risk
● Status of Business Operations in Lafayette Square
● General and Board Meeting Updates
Other topics or information may be added as the situation evolves. Our goal is to provide timely information and to provide support to our neighborhood. The strength of our community is the people that live and work in Lafayette Square.
TO RESIDENTS AND VISITORS TO LAFAYETTE SQUARE:
Use Universal Precautions in Public Places — We all love seeing our friends on the streets and in the park. But we need to change our rituals to share the love from a little further away. Remember to keep a reasonable distance (Most health professionals are recommending at least 6 feet, so just pretend that there is one tall person lying on the ground between you) and if you do need to sneeze or cough (after all, we’re just finishing cold season and heading straight for allergy season so it’s not unlikely) turn away from the other person and cover your mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow. And take care not to touch your face, especially areas like your eyes, mouth, nose, and ears if you’ve touched anything that could have come in contact with a nasty bug.
Be Kind to Our Merchants — Our business owners and their employees are a big part of what makes the Square a special place to live and visit. This crisis is hitting many of them hard as their business depends on personal interaction. If you visit one of the businesses in the Square please take good care of them as they always take good care of anyone who comes through their doors. If you often frequent places in the Square, but won’t be going until the virus is no longer a threat please consider the purchase of gift cards or even sending a thank you note to let them know you haven’t forgotten them and plan to return when this has passed.
Be Kind to Each Other — We know you always are. It’s one of the reasons we love living here. But now, especially, the world needs your smile.
Stay connected with your neighbors and watch for announcements that impact the Square.
Follow Lafayette Square on Facebook
Bookmark THIS PAGE and check back for updates.
RESOURCES AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
Block Captains — These folks are our heroes on the streets and the source of a lot of support and information for our neighborhood. If you are a resident of Lafayette Square you may already know your Block Captain. If you don’t, you can email Safety@LafayetteSquare.org for more information.
Volunteer to Help a Neighbor – We’re establishing a list of people who are willing to run light errands for neighbors who cannot or SHOULD not be out in public right now. If you can pick up groceries, medications, or household necessities for a neighbor please email Safety@LafayetteSquare.org and our Safety Committee will add you to the Volunteer list. When a neighbor requests assistance an email will go out to the list and you can just “reply all” to let us know you can cover the request.
Request Help from a Neighbor — If you need to protect your health or the health of others by avoiding public places we’d love to help you during this time. Send an email to Safety@LafayetteSquare.org with your name, address, nature of your request, and the timeframe for fulfilling it and we’ll forward it to our Volunteer list. If someone can help they’ll contact you directly.
Tell Us How We Can Help — The LSRC is your neighborhood association. Even if you aren’t a member (and now is a good time to join if you haven’t already) we want to hear from you. Email LSRC@LafayetteSquare.org with suggestions or Membership@LafayetteSquare.org about becoming a member.
UPDATED AND CANCELLED EVENTS:
Naturally, most events in the immediate future are postponed or canceled. We’ve also had to look further in the future and make some difficult decisions about regularly scheduled events. Here is the current list of events that have been impacted:
2020 Spring House and Garden Tour (CANCELLED) — After 50 years of amazing tours, relying on thousands of volunteer hours and delighting many thousands of tour-goers, canceling the upcoming tour was not an easy decision. However, these events require months of dedicated planning and implementation on the part of the House Tour Committee and involve 1500 or more people going through private residences. With so many factors still unknown about the impact the COVID-19 virus will have and the length of time we will be at risk, we felt it would be unfair to expect the committee members and the homeowners to go through the work of preparing for an event that might not take place.
The LSRC board and the House Tour Committee are considering multiple options to expand the Holiday Tour with additional activities in the Square and potentially an extra full or half day for the tour itself.
April LSRC Neighborhood Meeting (CANCELLED) — At this time there are no pressing action items on the April agenda so we not be holding a membership meeting. If we need to continue “social distancing” into May we’ll look into the possibility of digital platforms or other virtual meeting formats.
Strategic Plan Launch (TBD) — After many months of gathering thoughts and ideas from the residents, the Strategic Plan will be available to read on line sometime in April and a launch party will follow in May or June.
If you have an update that should be added to this post please email Info@LafayetteSquare.org and if it meets the LSRC criteria for posting we’ll get it added.
Whatever your connection to Lafayette Square, we appreciate you. We want you to stay safe, healthy, and hopeful and we’ll give you a virtual handshake, hug, or high five until it’s safe to return to sharing space in person!