City Paper Widget

Friday, February 21, 2014

1225 10th Street Renovation: Back to the Drawing Board

A committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle has sent the team planning to develop the vacant lot at 1225 10th Street NW back to the drawing board. At its February 19 meeting, the Community Development Committee (CDC) said the current design for a new four-unit condo, tentatively approved by D.C.'s Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB), was unacceptable. The committee's recommendations were in contradiction of the HPRB's recommendations. The owners, architect, and developers are left to find a solution which pleases both parties.

The vacant lot as seen from Google Street View
Architect Shawn Buehler of Bennett Frank McCarthy Architects led the presentation team at the meeting, which included S2 Development and the lot owners. 

The plan is to build a four-unit condo on the 25-foot-wide site. Three units would be in the planned three-story main building facing 10th Street. The fourth unit would be the existing carriage house at the rear of the property. There would be a courtyard between the front and rear buildings, only accessible through one of the buildings. The owners plan to sell three units and live in the fourth. It was estimated the construction would take 9-12 months.

The development is "by right", meaning, it does not require any zoning variances or special exceptions. However, it must be reviewed by the HPRB because it is located in the Blagden Alley-Naylor Court Historic District.

The architect had already consulted HPRB staff and had modified his original drawings to include HPRB input. CDC members were not satisfied.

"I'm quite concerned about the windows," said Helen Kramer. "They're quite different from anything else in the row."

Joel Heisey thought the design's symmetrical facade didn't match its surroundings.

"The whole block is asymmetrical facade," he said.

Buehler responded: "I'm smiling because we started with an asymmetrical facade."

Buehler explained that his original asymmetric design (which he showed the committee on his Apple laptop) had been rejected by HPRB staff. The result was the design he was presenting to the CDC. Committee members told Buehler he should go back to HPRB with the ANC's recommendation and sell them on an asymmetric facade. 

"Don't let HPRB design your building," Heisey said.

The CDC did not approve the design, nor did it pass a motion to protest the design. It told the architect to come back with a new design at a future meeting.

The CDC voted unanimously to recommend the full ANC approve the concept and massing of the building. The full ANC will probably consider the recommendation at its next regular monthly meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, March 5, at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle).

On-line records indicate 1225 10th Street lot is 3,573 square feet and was sold in August 2011 for $815,000.

See more details about the project, including drawings of the rejected facade, at the blog BadWolfDC.

No comments:

Post a Comment