Archive for the ‘Historic Preservation Office.’ category

Park View Field House Honored in Annual Preservation Awards

June 2, 2017

Recipients of the 2017 HPRB Chair Award. Photo by D.C. Preservation League/Jason Hornick Photography

At this year’s District of Columbia Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation, the renovation of the Park View Playground Field House won the Historic Preservation Review Board Chair Award — once of eleven awards recognized this year. The award was presented to ANC1A Chair Kent Boese, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and KADCON Corporation. The District of Columbia Office of Planning and Historic Preservation Office, in partnership with the DC Preservation League and the Daughters of the American Revolution, presented the 14th annual District of Columbia Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 in the historic DAR Constitution Hall.

Since 2003, the District government has honored over 225 outstanding projects, programs and individuals for exemplary work and commitment to historic preservation in Washington, DC. This year’s awards recognize 47 individuals, businesses, government agencies and local organizations.

Below is the short video that accompanied the award presentation ceremony.


Minor Proposal to Add Windows to the Tivoli Building

November 13, 2015

At last night’s meeting of ANC 1A, there was a brief presentation about a plan to add a few windows to the north side of the Tivoli Theater building, which is officially listed as a historic landmark. The additional windows in question are considered a minor change, so the Commission did not weigh in on it (the decision being within the jurisdiction of the Historic Preservation Office). However, I did want to comment as one of the goals of historic preservation is to ensure that buildings remain useful and relevant.

There was general consensus last night in support of the proposal. The proposed windows (if you can find them in the bottom image below), will be very difficult to see, are located on the red brick wall that abuts the former Ruby Tuesday location, and makes the interior of the building usable for a new tenant. These are all good things and we certainly wish all the best for those working to bring more business to the community.

Tivoli windows(Copy of proposal distributed to commissioners at the ANC 1A meeting)

Reminder: Preservation Program & Discussion Tonight at School

September 24, 2015

Tonight there is a community meeting on the topic of historic preservation and historic districts. The program will begin with a presentation by Kim Williams of the D.C. Historic Preservation Office. She will also be available to answer questions from the community afterward. The event is intended to support a community dialogue on the issues of preservation, neighborhood character, and development as they relate to our changing neighborhood and growing city.

Historic preservation is one way that some D.C. neighborhoods have chosen to maintain neighborhood character.  There are currently 55 historic districts and almost 27,000 structures designated and listed in the District of Columbia Inventory of Historic Sites. There are 584 D.C. historic sites and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Place.

If you plan to attend, below are the details:

Where: Bruce-Monroe @ Park View School Auditorium (3560 Warder Street)
When: 7 p.m.
Date: September 24, 2015

North Elevation Park View School 1915(North Elevation, Park View School, 1915)

Former Hebrew Home HPRB Hearing Tomorrow — DGS Schedules Surplus Hearing

May 21, 2014
The Hebrew Home for the Aged, 1125 Spring Rd., NW.

The Hebrew Home for the Aged, 1125 Spring Rd., NW.

For those interested in the future of the former Hebrew Home for the Aged — located at 1125 Spring Road — the Historic Preservation Review Board will be considering the landmark nomination for the building tomorrow morning. It is a relatively straightforward nomination and I don’t expect it to be controversial. In evaluating the merits of the nomination, the Historic Preservation Office issued a favorable staff report in advance of the hearing.

In addition to the landmark aspect of the building, the DC Housing Authority is in the early stages of developing a plan that would convert the property into affordable housing with 60% AMI at the upper end. I’ve previously posted my notes from their presentation at the April ANC 1A meeting for anyone who wants to read up on that.

The District is moving forward with that process, as I’ve been notified by the Department of General Services (DGS) that there will be a public meeting on June 17th to discuss surplussing the property (see flyer below). In following up with DGS, they confirmed that they are intending to designate the building as “Surplus”, after which the building can go through a disposition process. This would allow the building to be developed as part of the public-private development with DCHA. It is important to note that this process will need to go before the DC Council for approval.

1125 Surplus Resolution

September ANC 1A Meeting Wrap Up

September 13, 2013
The Coupe, located at 3415 11th Street, NW.

The Coupe, located at 3415 11th Street, NW.

It’s been a while since I’ve written a summary of an ANC 1A meeting. Since several of the items will be of interest to the community, I thought I would touch upon some of the more significant ones.

To start with, the ANC voted to support a stipulated liquor license application for The Coupe’s outdoor cafe. The restaurant recently received its public space permit and has an application in to ABRA for the alcohol portion of it.  One overarching concern voiced at the meeting concerned the hours of operation. According to the application notice, the hours of operation and service applied for are:

Sunday 8 am – 11 pm Monday through Thursday 7 am – 11 pm Friday 7 am – 1 am and Saturday 8 am – 1 am

Sunday through Thursday 10 am – 11 pm Friday and Saturday 10 am -1 am

As owner Constantine Stavropoulos stated at the meeting, he applied for the hours he did so that he could be flexible depending upon when the business is. He doubts that the full outdoor cafe will be used other than peak hours, and noted that other establishments — like Meridian Pint which has no restrictions on hours — shut down their sidewalk service earlier than his applied for hours due to a lessening of business in the evening.

The ABRA application for the coming T.G.I. Fridays at 14th and Monroe Street didn’t fair as well. Several residents from the Samuel Kelsey Apartments (senior housing above the restaurant space) and from Monroe Street attended to oppose the application and the ANC voted to protest the hearing. The protest will preserve the ANC’s standing with ABRA until a Settlement Agreement can be negotiated.

The former Blue Banana space at 3632 Georgia Ave., NW.

The former Blue Banana space at 3632 Georgia Ave., NW.

Closer to home, the Commission approved an amendment to Looking Glass Lounge’s Settlement Agreement which extends their hours of operation to include lunch service. It also passed a letter of support for the former Blue Banana (3632 Georgia) to expand the summer garden in the rear to include the space behind 3630 Georgia — something that has the support of the property owner.

Lastly, the Commission voted to nominate the former Bruce School building as a historic landmark (770 Kenyon). The building is currently home to the Cesar Chavez PCS and in the midst of adding a gymnasium  to the structure. The landmark nomination will not interfere with the construction project.

Kenyon Street Elevation from original drawings by architect William M. Poindexter, dated  March 14, 1898.

Kenyon Street Elevation from original drawings by architect William M. Poindexter, dated March 14, 1898.

Reminder: Humanities Council Program — Does Preserving History Help Build Community?

June 25, 2013

dcchplogowhiteHere’s a program I’m participating in tonight that might be of interest (and which I’ve previously posted about) — a panel discussion about the role of preserving history in maintaining community ties. All in all, it promises to be a good discussion.

Details from an email sent out by the Humanities Council:

Who: Local real estate professionals, community historians, and government officials will discuss the importance of historical preservation and knowledge in relation to a modern sense of community.

Joining us will be:

  • Michael Marshall, Principal, Marshall Moya Designs
  • Rosalynn Hughey, Deputy Director, Citywide and Neighborhood Planning for the DC Office of Planning
  • Kent Boese, Commissioner and Project Director of ANC, Park View Walking Tour
  • Bernadine Okoro, Film Producer,  Preserving Trinidad Documentary
  • Graylin Presbury, President and Project Director of Fairlawn Civic Association, Fairlawn Community History Brochure.

This panel will be moderated by Jane Freundel Levey, Director of Heritage and Community Programs, Cultural Tourism DC.

What: Because of the high cost of living and residential displacement, there is a growing rift between long-time residents and more recent arrivals. The annual summer DC Community Heritage Project symposium will address how residents’ knowledge of D.C.’s history can establish a sense of community.

When: Tuesday June 25, 2013 from 6:30-8:30

Where: 1840 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C.  20009 (Three blocks from the U Street Metro Station)

RSVP today for this FREE opportunity at For more information, please call (202) 387-8391, or emailing info (at) wdchumanities (dot) org.

HPO DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Would Conservation Districts Be a Good Addition To D.C.’s Perservation Toolbox?

May 13, 2013

Draft preservation planCurrently, the only preservation option available in D.C. on the neighborhood-wide level is a Historic District. Creating one, however, can be involved, requires consensus, and has its fair share of opponents. However, if there were a third option between strict preservation and nothing, would this be desirable?

While reviewing the DRAFT 2016 District of Columbia Historic Preservation Plan that is currently out for comment (HPO is still interested in comments even though the original deadline has passed) and speaking to others reviewing the draft plan, one thought that has come up is the creation of Conservation Districts. Essentially, a Conservation District would have some of the protections of a Historic District, but not all of them. An example could be architectural review for construction before issuance of permits, but no review for things like new windows. The intent of a Conservation District is to provide some protection to the historic fabric of neighborhoods where a full-fledged Historic District is deemed to restrictive.

Reportedly, Office of Planning Director Harriet Tregoning is not in favor of Conservation Districts. Her concern is that if the District includes this option that the City would never have another Historic District again. I’m a little more optimistic. I believe that there are instances when a Conservation District might be a more appropriate approach to some neighborhoods.

I also believe that even should they never come to pass, there are ample opportunities to enhance the District’s existing approach to preservation and maintain the character of our neighborhoods while allowing new development.  I encourage residents who are interested in the fabric of their neighborhoods to take a look at the draft preservation plan and submit comments on what works, what doesn’t, and what can be improved.

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