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HPRB March 27 and April 3, 2014

The Historic Preservation Review Board met to consider the following items on March 27 and April 3, 2014.  Copies of staff report 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), Rauzia Ally, Graham Davidson, Nancy Metzger, Robert Sonderman, Joseph Taylor and Charles Wilson. Absent: Maria Casarella and Andrew Aurbach.

1815 Riggs Place NW, HPA14-250, concept /one-story addition to a non-contributing building.
The Board found the proposed concept compatible with the character of the historic district and consistent with the purposes of the preservation act with the following conditions: (A) Direct the architect to further study the metal panel cladding- both in color and pattern at the 3rd story; (B) Further define the projecting cornice so that it is more integral with the addition; (C) Encourage the applicant to include cleaning the limestone entry and brick façade as part of the scope of this project to further enhance the façade in this historic district; and D) Eliminate the front façade balcony space. The HPO further recommends that the Board delegate final approval to staff. Vote: 6-0.

1441-1449 U Street, NW (Portner Place), HPA 14-176, concept/11 story residential building on U Street; 8 story residential building on V Street.
The Board found the height and mass of the proposed new construction, and the design of the V Street elevation, to be compatible with the historic district but on the U Street elevation requested further study to mitigate the horizontal quality of the projecting bays, to strengthen the tripartite organization and the base of the building, elimination of the entrance tower element, and a simplification of materials. The Board also requested that the project return for further review rather than final approval being delegated to staff.  Vote: 7-0.

2419 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, HPA 14-245, concept/side additions, fence.
The Board found the concept compatible with the character of the Massachusetts Avenue Historic District on the condition that the new metal fence be fabricated of iron rather than steel.  

2300 Wyoming Avenue, NW, HPA 14-244, concept/fences, retaining walls.
The Board found revised plans (submitted by the applicant since the release of the HPO report and addressing the issues raised within) to be compatible with the character of the historic district, with the conditions that the perimeter fencing be iron rather than steel and that the retaining walls be as low as possible to simply retain the grade.  Vote:  7-0.

1867 Park Road NW, HPA 14-091, revised concept/construction of  rear addition, repairs and site work.
The Board approved the concept as compatible with the character of the historic district and delegated further review to staff, with the condition that the floor framing in the building be retained. The Board also expressed concern with: the details of the front porch, including roof pitch and material, and diameter of the columns; the details of replacement or new retaining walls and stairs in the front yard; and that any replacements of the sash in the dormer windows replicate the original configurations or be consistent with the rest of the windows in the house.  Vote: 7-0.

1867 (1865) Park Road NW, HPA 14-243, concept/construction of a two-story frame house and site work.
The Board approved the concept as compatible with the character of the historic district and delegated further review to staff.  The Board also confirmed that no rear-yard fences are part of the present application, but offered that if an application for a fence is later submitted to staff, it should be within the standard height limitation and not exceed a height necessary for its function.  Vote: 7-0.

Riggs-Tompkins Building, 3336 14th Street NW, HPA 14-240, signs and awnings.
The Board recommended approval of a permit for the awnings and entrance canopy, an illuminated slogan sign, but no blade signs.  The Board recommended allowing flexibility on the heights at which the entrance canopy and the awnings would be hung and the possibility of putting box signage in the sign band on 14th Street and continuing the sign band onto Monroe is necessary for mounting signs.  Vote: 7-0.

Western High School (Duke Ellington School of the Arts), 3500 R Street NW, HPA 14-133, revised concept, alterations and new construction.
The Board unanimously approved the staff report which recommended the Front Bar concept as consistent with the Act and the Back Bar and Middle Bar concepts as inconsistent.  The Board also identified a number of project features for further refinement and future review by the Board including elements of the front plaza, the lantern reading room, the entry porches, the elevations of the new additions, the fly tower, night lighting, and the degree to which projections on the roof would be visible from the surrounding community.  Finally, the Board requested that original materials be used to reconstruct the porches and their balustrades (substitute materials being considered acceptable for the rooftop balustrade) and recommended that permanent exhibits interpreting the history of the school and its auditorium be incorporated into the school’s display areas. Vote: 6-0.

1835-37 Wyoming Avenue NW, HPA 13-623, revised concept/rear roof deck and stair access.
1.    The Board approved the revised rear addition. Vote: 5-0.  
2.    The Board approved the roof work conditioned upon a redesign of the stair tower, rotating the HVAC equipment 90 degrees, and setting the deck back from the rear wall. Vote: 4-1.


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

610-624 Eye Street, NW and 609-619 H Street, NW, HPA 14-242, revised concept/alteration, demolition of 616-Rear Eye Street, new construction.
The Board concurred with the conclusions of the HPO report, and also found that greater clarity needed to be provided regarding the relationship of the project to the Wah Luck House and that the new construction may be too close to that building; that the H Street façade of the new construction should be stepped back at the upper floors rather than rising straight up to 110 feet to provide for a more compatible relationship with the retained H Street buildings; that the treatment of the retained alley buildings with new construction directly above them was not a compatible treatment; that clarity needed to be provided on the height of the street-fronting Eye Street infill element; that the façade of the new construction behind the Eye Street historic buildings needed to have greater variation in plane and/or materials to ensure that it doesn’t read as too monolithic. Vote:  8-0.

First African New Church, 2105 10th Street NW, HPA 14-125, concept/rehabilitation of landmark and construction of six-story apartment addition.
The Board approved the concept but recommended several areas of the design that needed further work before it was compatible with the landmark.  These elements included further information and detailing on the size and jointing of the metal panels, the size and detailing of the windows, the design of the sunshade element, the design of the retail base, the spacing of the projecting bays on the two primary elevation, and the penthouse height and location of the roof deck railing.  The project was directed to return to the HPRB for further review when ready. Vote:  7-0 (Wilson absent).  

2006 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE, HPA 14-249, concept/third-story addition and alterations.
The Board approved the concept for the addition but requested the applicant to return with revisions and further development, including retaining the façade’s upper windows, cornice bands and masonry colors; simplifying the south elevation and retaining more of the masonry wall toward the front corner; consider introducing more light through the building from above; and address several of the staff report comments. Vote: 7-0. (Wilson absent).


819 D Street NE, HPA 14-180, concept/exterior alterations, rooftop addition.
The Board adopted the staff report and recommended against the following alterations: expansion of the areaways, church roof skylights, and any rooftop structures on the row houses. The Board requested the applicant provide a mock-up of a modified stained glass window prior to making a determination on any window alterations. Vote: 6-0.

140 12th Street SE, HPA 14-184, concept/second story carriage house addition.
The Board found the concept to be consistent with the purposes of the preservation act and delegated final approval to staff with the condition the applicant further differentiate the addition from the original building; work with staff on the location of mechanical units and any new meters; and simplify details around the doors and windows.  Vote: 3-2 (Metzger and Taylor opposed; Aurbach absent).

640 Lexington Place NE, HPA 14-218, concept/rear addition/roof alteration.

Due to scheduling constraints, consideration of the case was deferred until April 24.

415 M Street NW, HPA 14-177, concept/three-story side and rear addition.

Due to scheduling constraints, consideration of the case was deferred until April 24.

Waffle Shop, 522 10th Street, NW, HPA 14-231, raze and relocate
The Board recommended approval of an application to raze the Waffle Shop as consistent with the purposes of the preservation law, due to loss of both interior and exterior integrity.  Salvaged elements and documentation will be used to execute the terms of an agreement with preservation groups to recreate the building at another location.


The Board approved all of the following items on the consent calendar on March 27 by a vote of 6-0.  (Ally, Aurbach and Wilson absent).  

1352 Valley Place, SE, HPA 13-619, concept revision and subdivision.  
 This case was discussed on the record as two objections had been received.

700 Constitution Ave NE, HPA 12-150, request for renewal of concept approval.
442 New Jersey Avenue SE, HPA 14-173, concept/rear addition.

3425 Connecticut Avenue NW, HPA 14-034, concept/roof addition.

3110 19th Street NW, HPA 14-247, concept/two-story-and-basement addition at rear.
1855 Lamont Street NW, HPA 14-253, concept/two-story rear addition.

216 Morgan Street NW, HPA 14-232, concept/new 2-story brick rowhouse.

1225 10th St NW, HPA 14-161, concept/new 3-story brick, 3-unit building.

29 Kalorama Circle, NW, HPA 14-241, concept/side addition.