City Paper Widget

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

1815 Riggs Place: "Adding More Ugly Isn't a Nice Thing to Do"

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle voted to endorse a one-story pop-up on a two-story apartment building at 1815 Riggs Place NW. The vote took place at ANC2B's regular monthly meeting of March 12.

 At present (Google Street View)
ANC2B Commissioner Leo Dwyer (district 07), introducing the matter to the ANC, called the building "fairly nondescript". However, the building is located within the Dupont Circle Historic District, so changes to the exterior must get the blessing of D.C.'s Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB). Dwyer said the building is "non-contributing" to the historic district, meaning, it has no particular architectural merit.

Dwyer said he had solicited comments about the project from its neighbors.

Schneck presents an image of the addition
"The majority of the comments is that this building is ugly," he said.

Dwyer is also chair of ANC2B's Zoning, Preservation and Development (ZPD) Committee.

Architect Ronald Schneck, principal of Square 134 Architects, presented to ANC2B. This project is on the HPRB's agenda for its next meeting, and Schneck sought ANC2B's endorsement.

"Everyone can agree this is a non-contributing building," Schneck said.

At the same time, Schneck was also hoping to get endorsement for zoning variances before an April hearing with D.C.'s Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA). The building as it stands now is not zoning compliant because it occupies too much of the lot it stands on, and because the rear yard setback is not big enough. The architect's proposal does not add additional non-compliant elements.

The developer's HPRB proposal had been considered by the ZPD Committee, but its BZA proposal had not. The ANC voted to approve its HPRB application, but asked the architect to return to the ZPD Committee for a separate presentation on its BZA proposal.

Commissioner Stephanie Meltz (district 03) also reminded Schneck of her request, made the previous week, to reach out to her constituents who lived across the street from the building and have concerns about the effects of the addition on both light and parking.

Tom Bauer of the Dupont Circle Conservancy (DCC) told the committee his organization will support the massing of the building before the HPRB but will oppose certain aspects of the design. Specifically, it objects to the use of metal seams on the exterior, and would prefer to see brick and limestone.

"We think it's ugly but adding more ugly isn't a nice thing to do," Bauer said about the building.

Read another article about this project from the blog District Source here.

No comments:

Post a Comment