Georgetown resident fights to keep Transformer statues

A Georgetown resident is fighting to keep the two massive Transformer sculptures outside of his rowhome. 

Some residents love the sculptures, but some of Dr. Newton Howard's neighbors say the giant sculptures of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee don't fit with Georgetown's historic character. 

He's now in a legal battle to keep his sculptures up. 

"I'm inherently a Transformer myself, I like to transform things," said Howard, a Georgetown University neuroscientist. "Transform communities, transform life, transform ideas, motivation, etc."

Howard says the house is "representative of that," and says he uses his home to host "transformational" meetings with scientists and artists. 

"The Transformer doesn't seem to fit with the style of some neighbors." 

Last March, the Old Georgetown Board ordered Howard to take the sculptures down. But Howard has continued to fight to get a permit for his sculptures. 

The local ANC agrees that other residents do use public space for planters and art installations without a permit. 

Howard argues that local officials want the Transformers removed because they want to "dictate who comes to the neighborhood." 

"They seem to be offended by minorities and other foreign travelers that come across in the neighborhood and like to look around and that just happens to be one of the attractions there," said Howard.