City Paper Widget

Friday, December 6, 2013

1618 Q Street Renovation Tries Again

Workshop T10 was back before a committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle December 3. They had a freshly-revised version of their attempt to convert 1618 Q Street, currently a two-story single-family home, into a three-story building with seven apartments.

1618 Q Street was built in 1880.
The project has had a rocky trip through the approval process. First, it was presented to the Dupont Circle Conservancy (see SALM post of October 15). The Conservancy was not enthusiastic about the plan. On November 5, it was presented to the ANC2B's Zoning, Preservation and Development (ZPD) Committee (see SALM post of November 13), where it was criticized for not consulting with the project's neighbors. ANC2B as a whole voted to oppose the project at its meeting the following week.

It has not fared much better at the D.C. government level. A staff report from D.C.'s Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) was sharply critical of the project, saying that the project "will result in substantial demolition" of the house, as defined under law.

"The project results in incompatible additions and alterations to the house," the report also said.

Workshop T10 representatives came to the ZPD committee meetings with drawings fresh off the printer, based on recommendations and information obtained from the D.C. government less than five hours before. The new revisions incorporated HPRB's suggestions. They include preserving the original footprint of the house and reducing the height of the third-story addition.

The third story addition would be 13 inches shorter in the revised plans.

The new design would preserve as much of the original building as possible and would also move the location of the third-story addition toward the rear of the building.

However, it still seems as if the project would result in seven apartments and a roof deck, as previously.

Workshop T10 representatives apologized for "springing this on you at the last minute." But ZPD Committee members were not inclined to be charitable. Committee chair Leo Dwyer (Commissioner for district 07) noted that this was not the first time Workshop T10 had brought recently-changed drawings to a ZPD Committee and asked for swift approval. Committee members agreed they wanted more time to look at the new drawings.

Dwyer also said the neighbors to the west of 1618, who had protested the project at the previous ZPD meeting, were still opposed to the project. There was a meeting scheduled with the neighbors on December 5.

The ZPD Committee decided to take no action until they had had more time to examine the details of the new design.

"I'd feel better with no decision tonight," said Commissioner Mike Silverstein (district 06).

The project will also be presented again to the Dupont Circle Conservancy on December 10 and is on HPRB's agenda for their next meeting on December 19.


  1. 7 units is just absurd here. It should be 3, maybe 4. Developers can still make a profit on normal sized housing in Dupont.

    1. yes but there is a huge demand and need for 0-1 BR units in the neighborhood. It is not always so bad to give those without a half a million for a 2 BR in Dupont, an opportunity to live in the neighborhood. It is not about the profit as much as filling a need. The Q is a perfect example of this.