Preservationists Concerned About Impact of Prince George's Casino

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    NEWSLETTERS

    MGM presents a detailed site plan on its National Harbor casino project. Some residents are concerned about the development's impact on nearby historic sites. Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reports.

    Preservationists are raising concerns about how plans for a new casino and hotel in Prince George's County could affect two historic properties close to the planned development.

    The casino location is close to both Oxon Hill Manor and Addison Cemetery. The lights and activity from the casino will be visible to visitors to either place, which concerns preservationists.

    The historic site is "very close to the casino site and we just want to make sure that historic site is protected," said Jennifer Stabler, a member of the historic preservation staff of the Prince George's County Planning Department.

    "You really don't want to see these bright lights, all this noise and flashing lights from the video screens from what right now is a fairly peaceful setting," Stabler said.

    The preservationists spoke up at a planning board meeting Friday. And they aren't the only ones concerned.

    Oxon Hill Manor, built in 1928 and featuring historic decor inside and formal English gardens outside, is a popular spot for weddings. That's where Shamanique Bembry plans to marry -- and, in a strange coincidence, her wedding day could coincide with opening day for the new casino.

    "You do lose on the quietness and the serenity and just the beautifulness of the location," Bembry said.

    As for Addison Cemetery, preservationists want to make sure that it is cared for and marked properly.

    Preservationists suggest a natural wall, such as a large planting, could help sheild the historic locations.

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