Rendering of The Avenue by Wiencek & Associates primarily showing the Georgia Avenue façade
When large-scale demolition began on April 7, 2011, to make way for the first phase of Park Morton’s The Avenue, the project moved from concept to reality. Those most directly impacted by both the immediate construction and future seven-story, 83-unit apartment building will be the residents of the 700 block of Newton Place.
As described by the developers – Landex Corp. – at the November 2010 ANC 1A meeting, the development located on the southwest corner of Georgia Avenue and Newton Place is to be the first of four phases in the eventual replacement of Park Morton. As each phase is built out residents will move in, emptying the current Park Morton buildings so that they can be razed and redeveloped in turn.
To help the project blend in to the existing neighborhood, the western most section of the Newton Place façade will include exterior entrances, bay windows, and brick facing on the lower five floors
To mitigate the size and scale of the project, the developers have used a variety of techniques to make the building seem smaller than it is along the Newton streetscape. The first thing they will do is face the western half of the first five floors in brick while a different facing material will be used for the rest of the façade. Brick will also be used for portions of the Georgia Avenue façade. The use of brick is intended to do two things. First, it is to harmonize better with the neighboring residential rowhouses. Second, it is intended to trick the mind into thinking that this area consists of three rowhouses by limiting the brick to the first five floors which mentally brings the height of the building down from seven stories.
Above the brick facing on Newton Place, floors six and seven will also have a setback of nearly five feet. Both the setback and change in material is intended to make the building appear to be smaller. While there is no denying that The Avenue will tower over most of the buildings surrounding it, a sensitive choice of materials and scale should keep this development from overwhelming the neighborhood.
(Note: Images courtesy of Wiencek & Associates’ Web site.)