When the Neighbors Don’t Share Your Vision

A Georgetown professor has been ordered to remove his beloved $25,000 Transformers statues from the entrance to his $3.75 million townhouse after a 2-year fight with annoyed neighbors. Newton Howard, 53, has two statues of Bumblebee and Optimus Prime guarding the front door of his Prospect Street townhouse in Washington, DC. He also has an additional Optimus Prime peering over the rooftop of the home. He ordered the statues from Taiwan and placed them outside his townhouse in January 2021, but since their debut the neighbors have been up in arms. Complaining that the bright metal statues ruin the historic feel of the neighborhood, neighbors finally protested to the Old Georgetown Board. Unfortunately, the DC Public Spaces Committee has the final say, and they say the statues have to go. Part of the reason is because Howard failed to get a permit for the statues back in 2021. He also needed the board’s approval, which he bypassed. Neighbors say that aside from being an eyesore, there’s a safety issue. The statues have resulted in traffic gawker bottlenecks, as well as pedestrians having to walk into the street. They say that bending the rules for Howard would invite other residents to do the same and nothing would be off limits. Howard is currently looking at a host of legal options.