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HPRB February 27 and March 6, 2014

The Historic Preservation Review Board met to consider the following items on February 27 and March 6, 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:  Andrew Aurbach (Acting Chair), Rauzia Ally, Maria Casarella, Graham Davidson, Nancy Metzger, Joseph Taylor and Charles Wilson. Absent: Gretchen Pfaehler (Chair), Robert Sonderman.  

Proposed Test of New Notice Requirement:  The Board endorsed the Historic Preservation Office’s plan to test a requirement for applicants to provide supplemental notice of cases by posting a placard at the property.  

711 S Street NW, HPA 14-135, concept/new construction.
The Board found the proposed concept compatible with the character of the historic district and consistent with the purposes of the preservation act, and delegated final review to staff with the understanding that the ANC review the design.  Vote: 7-0.

415 M Street NW, HPA 14-177, concept/three-story side and rear addition.
The Board found the concept for a contemporary three-story side addition and a three-story rear addition compatible with the character of the historic district and consistent with the purposes of the Preservation Act with the following exceptions: (1) the basement and basement entrance alterations proposed for the existing building; (2) the stair tower proposed for the rear wing.  The Board recommended that the concept design be revised to address the exceptions and return to the Board for further review.  Vote: 6-1 (Metzger dissenting).

3146 16th Street NW, HPA 11-345, revised concept/demolition of rear of church, construction of residential additions, alterations.
The Board approved revision of the concept to include the alteration of the side windows as depicted in Option A (but deeply set), the elimination of the garage entrance and roof “cut-outs”, but not the construction of a rooftop pergola or the sign shown. The higher penthouses themselves are acceptable if they are not followed by prominent rooftop HVAC equipment.  The Board requested that design development return for further review, expecting to see more detail on the additions’ materials; improvement in the treatment of the ground floor of the side addition and the landscape in front; and refinement of the upper floor on the side addition, including lightening the frame above the terrace and better integrating that with the floor behind and distinct from the floors below (the addition’s façade material returns and stops too abruptly too near the front).  Board’s recommendation. Vote: 7-0.

2247 Mount View Place SE, HPA 14-178, concept/construction of a two-story house.
The Board approved the concept as not incompatible with the character of the historic district, conditioned upon the applicant addressing the recommendations of the staff report—plus considering a lattice apron at the front porch, the use of one-over-one windows, and addressing the low window on the side landing—with further review delegated to staff.  Vote: 7-0.

2226, 2228, 2234, 2238 and 2252 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and 1328 W Street SE, HPA 13-578,14-221 and 14-222, revised concept/subdivisions, construction of a five-story residential and retail building, and permit applications for the relocation of two buildings.
The Board denied the concept for clearance and resubdivision of the Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue site and for the construction of the proposed mixed-use building, finding the project  improved but still inconsistent with the character of the historic district because it is too tall relative to the district’s historic buildings and too extensive, to occupy half the square and crowd the narrow sidewalk.  It would also destroy the unusual topography of the site.  The Board recommended that any revisions to the building include attention to the articulation of the long sides of the building—to better relate to the residential streets—and simplify and refine materials, minimize the use of fiber-cement panels, and improve the proportions of the windows.
The Board recommended that a permit not be issued to move 2234 and 2252 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue because the move would diminish the buildings’ integrity and harm the character of this corner of the historic district, and because the houses could be rehabilitated and reused in place.  Finally, the Board requested that, in the event that the Mayor’s Agent approves the relocation permits and supports the concept in that context, the Mayor’s Agent require the return of the projects to the Board for review of design development. Vote: 7-0.

Patterson House, 15 Dupont Circle NW, HPA 14-187, concept/addition.
The HPO recommends that the Board find the proposed concept to be generally compatible with the landmark and the character of the Dupont Circle and Massachusetts Avenue Historic Districts. Vote: 6-0 (Davidson recused).

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

Meridian Hill Historic District, Case 14-01 [Board deliberation only; public record closed].
After careful consideration of the testimony given and letters received, and after giving great weight to the positions of the four affected Advisory Neighborhood Commissions that provided motions, the HPRB voted to approve the nomination of the Meridian Hill Historic District to the DC Inventory of Historic Sites and recommends that the nomination be forwarded for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.  Approved:  9-0.

Meridian Hill Design Guidelines
The HPRB provided several suggested additions and edits to the proposed design guidelines, including adding information on archaeological resources and the public space landscape along 16th Street, but approved the guidelines with those revisions.  Approved:  9-0

Terminal Refrigerating Warehouse (old Washington Design Center), 300 D Street SW, HPA 14-188, concept for conversion to the Museum of the Bible.
The HPRB supported the direction of the conceptual design and provided comments for design development in addition to those contained in the staff report. This was a courtesy review, so a vote was not taken.

Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue NW, HPA 14-175, concept/modifications to issued permit for residential addition (revised site treatment, pool screen, landscape, and penthouse).
The Board determined the proposed revisions consistent with the design concept represented in the approved project plans, and delegated final review to the staff. Vote:  7-0 (Ally and Wilson absent).

719 12th Street SE, HPA 13-630, concept/three-story rear addition.
The Board adopted the staff report and approved the concept with the following conditions: the applicant provide a clear record of structural work completed to stabilize the building and a report on what remains to be completed to address structural and environmental concerns; the applicant share plans and consult adjacent neighbors and the ANC about the project. The Board asked the applicant to update the drawings to correct discrepancies and include missing dimensions; provide additional information on egress and access to the basement areaways; and determine the location of the meters and HVAC equipment. The Board recommended reducing the height of the addition, further recess the front deck, and pull the rear balconies in from the side of the building. The Board requested the applicant return to the Board with the requested information and updated plans. Vote: 6-0. (Ally, Sonderman and Wilson absent)

419 8th Street SE, HPA 14-134, concept/façade alteration and second-floor addition.
The Board adopted the staff report and found the current proposal consistent with the purposes of the preservation act with the condition the applicant continue to work with staff on the storefront window details; the choice of material for the façade; the location and design for the second floor guardrail; and the party wall details. The Board requested the applicant resubmit the updated plans to the Board for review. Vote: 6-0 (Ally, Sonderman and Wilson absent).

1329 Constitution Avenue NE, HPA 14-043, concept/rear three-story addition.
The Board denied the concept and found it inconsistent with the purposes of the preservation act because of the amount of demolition. Vote: 5-1 (Aurbach opposed; Ally, Sonderman and Wilson absent).  

651 E Street SE, HPA 14-042, revised concept/two-story rear addition.
The Board found the project consistent with the purposes of the preservation act and delegated final approval to staff with the condition the applicant work with staff to refine the addition’s fenestration and cornice. Vote: 6-0 (Ally, Sonderman and Wilson absent).

First African New Church, 2105 10th Street NW, HPA 14-125, concept/rehabilitation of landmark and construction of six-story apartment addition.
This case was deferred at the request of the applicant.


The Board approved all of the following items on the consent calendar on February 27 by a vote of 6-0 (Ally, Sonderman and Pfaehler absent), with the exception of 1442 T Street NW HPA (#14-095), which was approved 5-1 (Metzger dissenting).

Janney Elementary School, 4130 Albemarle Street, NW, minor expansion of recent addition

614 A Street SE, HPA 14-165, concept/rear two-story addition

1728 P Street NW, HPA 14-039, concept/rear addition and garage

1528 Church Street NW, HPA 14-129, concept/three-story rear addition to two-story house

6808 Laurel Street NW, concept/side addition

1921-23 14th Street NW, HPA 13-568, revised concept/new construction
919 T Street NW, HPA 14-182, concept/front basement alteration and rear addition
1442 T Street NW, HPA 14-095, revised concept/rear and roof addition