City Paper Widget

Friday, October 11, 2013

15 Dupont Circle: ANC2B Supports Hotel Developers

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle voted on October 9 to support the architects Studio 3877 and hotel developers French Quarter Hospitality in their first step toward acquiring the Patterson Mansion (15 Dupont Circle NW) and turning it into a luxury hotel. The vote was 7 for, 2 against. The proposal will now be considered by DC's Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) on October 23.

ANC2B's previous deliberations on this proposal were the subject of an October 7 SALM blog post.

The Patterson Manson
A shorter presentation

Architect David Shove-Brown of Studio 3877 made a shorter version of his presentation to the full ANC. Some details are unchanged: the annex building next door to the mansion will be demolished, and a new six-story building will be built on the space. The new building will connected to the renovated mansion on the inside.

As a result of some comments from the ANC and the Dupont Circle Conservancy, changes were made to the design. The facade is now a darker color, matching more closely with the neighboring building on P Street, which is the Consular Section of the Embassy of Iraq. In addition, the mechanical penthouse is a different shape, and the loading dock will be moved to the back of the building.

The Dupont Circle Conservancy had met the previous evening to consider the proposal, a representative at the ANC meeting reported. They voted to support the massing of the proposed design generally, and endorse the use of darker materials. However, they asked that the size of the mechanic penthouse be minimized and that there be no roof deck.

"Massing" is a term of art meaning the extent to which a building's facade is in harmony with the facades of the nearby structures.

Commissioner comment
This annex will be demolished

"Some of you may think we're rushing this. This building is iconic. It's precious
to all of us. There are things in terms of the adjacent building [i.e., the new structure] we may have to give up. This is being protected at all costs," said Commissioner Mike Silverstein (district 06).

Silverstein also mentioned the case of Toutorsky Mansion, a building at 1720 16th Street that now houses the Embassy of the Republic of the Congo. Local objections made it impossible for a commercial enterprise to operate in the location, so it was sold to the Republic of the Congo. In 2011, the Embassy disregarded commitments it had made to preservation groups about  preserving the character of the property.

"You can't always control what you get," Silverstein said.

Other Commissioners felt they couldn't support the project.

"I feel like this is being rushed," said Commissioner Abigail Nichols (district 05).

"My great great great grandchildren are going to be looking at this. You won't be able to change it. Once it's there, it's there," said Commissioner Mike Feldstein (district 01).

Nichols and Feldstein were the votes against endorsing the project.

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