City Paper Widget

Friday, June 20, 2014

Former Omega Club Taking Last Steps Before Transformation

Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2B/Dupont Circle put its endorsement on three zoning variances that will allow the former Omega bar (2123 Twining Court NW) to become a single-family residence. The unanimous vote by all Commissioners present occurred at its June 11 meeting. If the owners can get the paperwork approved by DC Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA), demolition and construction is expected to begin by the end of August.

Twining Court is an alley off P Street between 21st and 22nd Streets.

The house is listed on National Register of Historic Places, where it is known as the Spencer Carriage House and Stable. It was built in 1905 to service the nearby residence of railroad executive Samuel Spencer. It later became a restaurant called "The Twining Court Stables".

According to a publication from the Rainbow History Project, the Fraternity House, one of the first gay nightclubs in DC, opened there in 1976. The club was renamed Omega in 1997. It closed on December 26, 2012.

At the June 11 meeting, the some Commissioners remembered the Omega as a cause of many noise complaints, and expressed optimism that the future residents were unlikely to cause as much noise.

The current owners plan a significant renovation, which received the blessing of DC's Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) in May 2013. See an April 2013 HPRB report about the proposed renovation here. HPRB has authority because the property is located in the Dupont Circle Historic District.

The property requires three zoning variances. The first variance is required because the residence does not have access to the street via an alley that is at least 30 feet wide. The second variance is required because the structure (both now and after exterior alternations) will cover about 90 percent of the lot; the law calls for not more than 80 percent. Finally, the rear yard of this property is only 6 feet deep; the law requires 9 feet.

A description from publicly-available BZA documents describes the scope of the renovation:
The proposed work includes a full renovation of the interior of the Building, restoration of the exterior - maintaining the original characteristics of the Building, construction of a small one-story addition for a garage extension, and altering the roof to accommodate a roof top deck and mechanical equipment. The scope of restoration includes cleaning and repointing the brick facades, replacing and restoring the windows and window openings, reopening the hay bale door, replacing the doors, light fixtures, downspouts, and gutters with historically appropriate material, restoring the retained portions of the roof, and rebuilding the deteriorated metal cupolas.
The BZA hearing on the variances is scheduled for July 15. Documents related to the case can be examined by going to the BZA's Interactive Zoning Information System and entering case number 18795 into the search bar. 

See a copy of the letter ANC2B wrote in support of this application here.

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