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HPRB May 22 and May 29, 2014

The Historic Preservation Review Board met to consider the following items on May 22 and May 29, 2014. Copies of staff reports related to cases listed below may be requested by email.

Video archives of the hearing are accessible on the office website.




Present: Gretchen Pfaehler (Chair), Andrew Aurbach, Maria Casarella, Graham Davidson, Nancy Metzger, Robert Sonderman, Joseph Taylor and Charles Wilson. Absent: Rauzia Ally.

Park View Christian Church (Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church), 625 Park Road NW, Case 14-08.
 [consideration deferred at the request of the owner – May 20, 2014]

Hebrew Home for the Aged/Jewish Social Services Agency, 1125-1131 Spring Road NW, Case 14-09.
The Board designated the Hebrew Home for the Aged and the Jewish Social Service Agency a DC landmark under criteria A, B, C, and F and recommended forwarding the nomination to the National Park Service for listing in the National Register of Historic Places under criteria A and C. Vote: 8-0.

Central Public (Carnegie) Library, 800 K Street NW, HPA 14-254, concept/building and site alterations, additions.

The Board adopted the staff report and a summary motion to indicate that the Board supports making the library a “destination” and enlivening the park through a new use;  that any additions should respond to the setting by being designed to “read” as freestanding objects in the park; that any connecting elements between the new additions and historic building should be substantially minimized if they cannot be not completely eliminated; that the pavilions should be refined to achieve a more harmonious relationship with the library; and that the effects of the materials palette should be carefully weighed.  The Board also identified as a priority, the need to develop a preservation plan which evaluated current conditions, identified contributing elements and developed a prioritized scheduled of preservation-related work for implementation.  Vote 6-2. Aurbach and Sonderman opposed.  

Hecht Company Warehouse, 1401 New York Avenue, NE, HPA 14-363, concept/roof additions.
The HPRB approved a modified concept for roof additions that pulled the proposed seventh floor further back from New York Avenue and for a fifth and sixth floor on the 1961 wing that related to the design of the underlying structure.  The Board asked that the corners on the seventh floor be made more solid and that both additions be made more consistently horizontal in orientation. Vote:  7-0 (Wilson Absent)

3070 Porter Street, NW, HPA 14-294, concept/raze non-contributing building, construct three-story house.
The HPRB found the general concept to be compatible with the historic district, but that additional work was needed in improving the vertical orientation and geometries of the windows; simplifying the massing; revisiting the extent of excavation and the extent to which placing the garage in the basement resulted in the side elevations from appearing so large; the durability and appropriateness of the cedar siding material; and the rear elevation.  The project was requested to return for final review when ready. Vote:  7-0 (Wilson Absent)

1852 3rd Street NW, HPA 14-246, concept/ third story on rear wing of two-story rowhouse.
The HPRB found the concept for a third-story addition on the two-story rowhouse at 1852 3rd Street NW to be not compatible with the character of the LeDroit Park Historic District.  Vote:  7-0.  (Wilson Absent)


Present: Gretchen Pfaehler (Chair), Andrew Aurbach, Rauzia Ally, Maria Casarella, Graham Davidson, Nancy Metzger, Joseph Taylor, and Charles Wilson. Absent:  Robert Sonderman

610-624 Eye and 609-619 H Street, NW, HPA 14-242, revised concept/alterations and additions.
The HPRB commended the proposed preservation plan for the historic buildings, but found the concept for new construction to be not compatible with the Downtown Historic District, and had not been revised to respond to the concerns raised by the Board in April.  Issues specifically cited included the need to reduce and vary the height and mass of the new construction; for setbacks and smaller-scaled, less horizontal projections; for the new construction to respect the volume above the alleys and alley buildings; and for the ground-level building elements to relate better to the surrounding streetscapes and the proposed new construction.  Vote:  8-0.

719 12th Street SE, HPA 13-630, revised concept/rear addition.
The HPRB approved the concept as consistent with the purposes of the preservation act, with the condition that the applicant work with staff on the location of new meters and HVAC equipment and that the Board delegate further review to staff.  Vote: 8-0

819 D Street NE, HPA 14-180, revised concept/exterior alterations, rooftop addition.  
The HPRB found the concept to be consistent with the purposes of the preservation act with the following conditions: A) The areaway on 9th St. should be expanded to the minimum dimension required to provide light to the lower level; B) the replacement clear glass should have a finish texture similar to the historic glazing; C) for new rooftop structures, only the parapet wall may be visible from public space; D) option two from the April submission is selected for window Q; and E) the applicant should work with staff on the selection of the brick for the annex parapet. Vote:  8-0

600 Massachusetts Avenue NE, HPA 14-190, concept/landscape  alterations                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The HPRB approved the concept with the condition that the applicant further reduce paving and work with HPO to finalize the design with attention paid not only to the percentage of permeable surface, but also to the physical approach so that it is consistent with other properties in the historic district. Vote: 8-0

531 8th Street SE, HPA 14-209, concept/storefront alterations/rooftop addition.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             The HPRB approved the concept with the following conditions: (A) the plans should clarify the placement and sizing of any mechanical equipment to ensure that it will not be visible from 8th Street; (B) the design of the infill element to the left of the building should be revised to provide a change in plane from the façade of the subject building and study of a lowered roofline; (C) the original left sidewall should be largely retained; (D) the specifications and detailing for the replacement windows and doors should be provided and the transom over the rear door should be sized to match the door opening. Vote: 8-0.


The Board approved all of the following items on the consent calendar on May 22 by a vote of 7-0 (Casarella absent).  

McMillan Reservoir and Sand Filtration Site, 2501 First Street, NW, HPA 14-393, raze related to previously-reviewed conceptual master plan in order to obtain hearing by the Mayor’s Agent.

3 Dupont Circle, NW, HPA 14-316, one-story front addition to non-contributing building.
1620 Q Street, NW, HPA 14-370, demo of rear ell and addition to rear of rowhouse.

1310 Q Street, NW, HPA 14-366, concept/construction of side addition.