City Paper Widget

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"Endangered" L Street Building to Be Retained, Moved

A part of 911 L Street NW in Shaw, a historically-protected Civil War-era building that made the DC Preservation League's 2014 "Most Endangered Places" list, will saved from the wrecking ball, preserved, and moved down the block. This was announced at an October 23 public hearing of the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB).

911-913 L Street (DC Preservation League, by permission)
The raze of the building, along with the building next door at 913 L Street, was endorsed by a committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan Circle on September 24, and then by the full ANC on October 1, before it appeared on the "Most Endangered Places" list, published on October 8.

Steve Callcott of HPRB staff said that the "transitional Greek revival townhouse" at 911 L Street was "a rarity" and "arguably the more important of the two" buildings, owing to its age. In a deal approved by the DC Preservation League and the developers of a complex of hotels and residences slated to go on the block where the building is located, the building will be retained "to a depth of 16 feet" and moved down L Street until it is adjacent with another historically-protected building. The facades of the buildings will be preserved, and the interiors renovated.

Screenshot of planned development from HPRB video archive
The picture on the left is a the architect's photoshopped vision of what the preserved building will look like as part of the completed hotel and apartment complex. The preserved and renovated version of 911 L Street is the three-story building with the black roof in the lower center.

913 L Street is still slated for complete demolition, however. The fate of both  buildings will probably remain on the November agenda of J. Peter Byrne, the Georgetown University professor of law who is also the Mayor's Agent for historical preservation. The Mayor's Agent has to approve the demolition of any building in a designated historic district. 911 and 913 L Street are located in in the Shaw Historic District.

The demolition of these buildings is a small part of a large land-use deal which  is part of a Planned Unit Development (PUD). See a short explanation of PUDs here and 21 pages of official PUD regulations here. The PUD is on the agenda for tomorrow's meeting of ANC2F's Community Development Committee, scheduled for 7pm at the Washington Plaza Hotel (10 Thomas Circle).

HPRB live-streams its meetings and then preserves them in a video archive. The discussion of the deal to preserve part of 911 L Street can be seen by going to this page and clicking on the link for the October 23 meeting, then clicking the tab labelled "Shaw Historic District".

1 comment:

  1. one of the many reasons why the ANC is not qualified to vote on such matters.