Posts Tagged ‘Historic Preservation’

Broken Windows Theory

When Unity of Washington outgrew its Romanesque Revival building on Capitol Hill, it wasn’t easy to sell. D.C. doesn’t have much of a market for used churches; many congregations have followed their worshippers to the suburbs over the years. The 107-year-old church at 7th and A streets NE had good bones and a graceful presence. [...]

As Expected, Mayor’s Agent OKs Cleveland Park Firehouse Renovations

Back in January, the Historic Preservation Review Board ruled that the doors of the Cleveland Park Firehouse—which has been closed since fall of 2010, awaiting renovations—were too historic to be changed for the 21st century's wider fire trucks. Much gnashing of teeth about putting historicity over neighborhood safety ensued.
As I noted, though, the board was [...]

The Historification of Southwest Begins In Earnest

Remember when we talked about how some of the most difficult cases the Historic Preservation Review Board will have to deal with in the next few years are the ones not everyone thinks of as "historic", like the buildings that came after hundreds of acres of Southwest D.C. got flattened? Well, two have come up [...]

This Is What Moving a Building Looks Like

A little after 7:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, if you had been walking down New York Avenue NW towards the Convention Center, you would've seen an odd sight: A falling-apart old building on wheels, walking across the street. That's the former Hodge's Roast Beef Sandwich Shop, which had been elevated up on blocks in preparation [...]

Historic Review Board Member to JBG Architect: Go Back to Seattle

Last Thursday was the first day on the job for seven out of nine Historic Preservation Review Board members, and several of them wasted no time asserting their authority. In particular, they expressed concern over the size and modernity of developer JBG's plan for the empty lots on the south side of Florida Avenue between [...]

Protip: If You Want a Building to Move Faster, Check Tax Records

It's easy to bemoan the decrepit state of an historic building. Fortunately, the District has a couple of powerful tools to compel landowners to take care of them.
Take the building on the northeast corner of 11th and K Streets NW. Doug Jemal's Douglas Development bought it in 2003, and wrapped in one of the 32 [...]

City Wants to Preserve Ramshackle Fish Market Shed in Redevelopment

Sorry for using a grainy picture from the application.

If you've pored through the recently-submitted second-stage zoning application for the massive redevelopment of the Southwest Waterfront—hey, some of us do that for fun—you won't have seen anything regarding a key component of the plan: The Maine Avenue Fish Market, a collection of seafood wholesalers and [...]

New Firetrucks Don’t Fit in Old Firehouses. Why Can’t We Widen The Doors?

The Cleveland Park firehouse's too-narrow doors.

Fairly or not, historic preservation often gets pitted against other priorities: Energy efficiency, for example, and economic development. Lately, though, it's the ability to put out fires.
The problem is, federal environmental regulations passed in 2010 require certain bells and whistles—no, not literally—on the sides of fire engines, which makes them [...]

Nancy Metzger and Historic Preservation’s Public Relations Problem

At last week's confirmation hearing for Historic Preservation Review Board nominees, preservation groups and hyperlocal elected officials—even the board's former chairman, Tersh Boasberg—lined up to support the appointment of Nancy Metzger, who's been the Capitol Hill Restoration Society's point person on preservation for 16 years now. She's a fierce advocate for historic districts around the [...]

ANC Fights Preservation Group Over Designation of AU’s Tenley Campus

American University has been fighting the neighborhood on several fronts to get approval for a campus plan that includes moving its law school to the former Immaculata Seminary at Yuma Street and Nebraska Avenue NW. Naturally, one of them has to do with preservation: The Tenleytown Historical Society has submitted a landmark application for the [...]