Archive for the ‘Historic Landmarks’ category

Victory Housing/Brinshore Development Selected to Redevelop Hebrew Home Property

August 23, 2017

(Rendering from Victory Housing proposal.)

Yesterday, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner announced that the developer selected to redevelop the historic Hebrew Home at 1125 Spring Road, NW, was Victory Housing with Brinshore Development. This was the same development team that both ANC1A and ANC4C recommended as their first choice at their July ANC meetings.

Through the community engagement process, follow up conversations with development teams, and collaboration between the two ANCs, the Victory Housing proposal was deemed the best overall proposal for the site. Following the selection, the development team will also need to come back before the ANCs as part of the Planned Unit Development/Zoning process through which design refinements can be made. Early conversations with the Victory Housing team showed a wiliness to work with the surrounding neighborhood to refine design elements.

A copy of the full press release is available here and after the jump. (more…)

Fossils at Park View School

August 17, 2017

A while ago I found a website that explores fossils in the architecture of Washington, D.C. by Christopher Barr. The site is organized by geological periods and shows examples of fossils that are in stone used in local buildings. I was immediate drawn to the sections on Sacred Heart Church and the Unification Church on 16th Street.

But as I reviewed the site, I suspected that we would also have fossils in the limestone used at the Park View School — and after inspecting the school, my hunch was right. As near as I can tell, the limestone appears to be Indiana Limestone from the Mississippian period. Below are photos of some of the fossils I found at the school.

(An area of trace fossils or, more technically, “ichnofossils”. These are located on the north side of the entry doors on Warder Street.)

(The structures that resemble netting are typically fenestrate bryozoans.)

Checking on Progress of Park Road Church Project

July 31, 2017

The project to redevelop the old church at 625 Park Road, the surface parking lot, and the rowhouse at 633 Park Road is making good progress. Work began in earnest in January 2017 following approval from the Board of Zoning Adjustment in July 2014.

The approved plans are for new construction connected to the historic church to create 38 new housing units in the neighborhood.

Below are views of the construction in progress.

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.

 

Proposals to Develop Hebrew Home Presented to Community

May 26, 2017

On Thursday evening, May 25th, DMPED hosted a meeting at Raymond Recreation Center so that the seven most promising development teams could present their ideas to the community on their ideas to renovate the old Hebrew Home property. All teams presented idea to convert the historic structure into housing and construct new housing to the east. However, no two presentations were exactly alike, with key differences being the number of units proposed, the amount of affordability of those units, and the density of the buildings.

A chief concern voiced by many residents was the impact that the development would have on area parking. There were also differing opinions on how much housing should be affordable, and how much density or height the new construction should be for the right balance.

The Powerpoint presentations from the meeting are available online here. Members of the public are invited to review them and provide any comments through an online forum available here: https://goo.gl/frtYFa  The forum will close on June 9th.

Below is a brief recap of each of the proposals with key data:

Team #1: Victory Housing & Brinshore Development

Key facts

Planned Unit Development: Yes

Housing proposed: Total 187  units

  • 88 senior units in historic Hebrew Home (100% affordable) (1- and 2-bedroom units)
  • 91 new construction units (60 affordable, 31 market rate) (1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units)
  • 8 new townhouses for home-ownership opportunities

Parking spaces provided: 75

Comments: More information is needed on levels of affordability. Powerpoint available here.

Team #2: Bozzuto & The Menkiti Group

Key facts

Planned Unit Development: No

Housing proposed: Total 146 units

  • 90 senior units (100% affordable)
  • 50 market townhouses
  • 6 affordable townhouses

Parking spaces provided: onsite for townhouse units

Comments: Would be the fastest to build as it would be a by-right project, but is also problematic as it has no affordable units outside of the senior units. Additionally, six of the rowhouses are planned on the site of the historic Hebrew Home which would require HPO and HPRB approval, which I find doubtful. Powerpoint available here.

Team #3: Mission First, Urban Matters, & Lock7

Key facts

Planned Unit Development: Yes

Housing proposed: Total 224 units

  • 86 senior units in historic Hebrew Home (81 affordable, 21% at less than 30% AMI) (1- and 2-bedroom units)
  • 117 new construction apartment units (95 affordable, 24% at less than 30% AMI) (1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units)
  • 21 new condo units on 10th Street (2 affordable)

Parking spaces provided: underground.

Comments: This project would be completed in three phases, with the Hebrew Home building being the first phase. This proposal is the most sensitive of those that were presented with regards to the preservation and renovation of the Hebrew Home building, with a commitment to preserve/restore interior elements of the building as well. Of the projects that proposed more density, this proposal has good harmony and relationship to the historic structure. Powerpoint available here.

Team #4: CPDC & NVR

Key facts

Planned Unit Development: Yes

Housing proposed: Total 109 units

  • 77 senior units in historic Hebrew Home (100% affordable) (1- and 2-bedroom units)
  • 32 new construction townhouses (4 affordable)

Parking spaces provided: contained in each new rowhouse.

Comments: This team proposed the least number of overall units for the site, with nearly all of the affordable units being for seniors in the Hebrew Home building. The rowhouses proposed reflect the rowhouse character of the surrounding neighborhood. Powerpoint available here.

Team #5: Borger Management & Spectrum Management

Key facts

Planned Unit Development: Yes

Housing proposed: Total 202  units

  • 30% of the units will be affordable
  • 15% of units will be set aside for families at 30% of AMI.

Parking spaces provided: 49 surface parking spaces.

Comments: This is a good architect and developer, but the number of affordable units is at the minimum amount required. There is no dedicated senior housing, and the current design isn’t as compatible or sensitive or compatible with the surrounding community as other high-density proposals. Powerpoint available here.

Team #6: NHP Foundation, Fivesquares, & The Warrenton Group

Key facts

Planned Unit Development: Yes

Housing proposed: Total 206 units

  • 131 apartments (95 affordable)
  • 75 condos (8 affordable)

Parking spaces provided: underground parking.

Comments: The density of this project was compatible with the existing Hebrew Home building. One of the merits of this proposal was how it focused on greenspace. The green roofs, landscaping, and particularly the deep set back on 10th Street which included a wide sidewalk and benches were features that should be incorporated into the final project regardless of who the developer is. Powerpoirnt available here.

Team #7: Gilbane Development & NHT-Enterprise

Key facts

Planned Unit Development: Yes

Housing proposed: Total 212  units

Hebrew Home building:

  • 71 affordable units for seniors and families, some of whom are formerly homeless
  • 41 deeply affordable units at 30% AMI

New mixed income building:

  • Mixed-income building with 10% of units affordable to families at 80% AMI
  • 9 for-sale townhomes

Parking spaces provided: underground

Comments: This was a good group who indicated a wiliness to create more affordable units if the District would be willing to provide additional financial support. It was the only proposal to include permanent supportive housing for residents formerly homeless, and the team demonstrated a record of other deeply affordable projects that they had completed. Powerpoint available here.

Efforts to Redevelop Hebrew Home Property Still Moving Along

February 10, 2017
The former Hebrew Home and Robeson School site at 1125 Spring Road.

The former Hebrew Home and Robeson School site at 1125 Spring Road.

The District’s efforts to find a developer for the former Hebrew Home for the Aged at 1125 Spring Road are making progress. Two public meetings were held to solicit community input through the OurRFP process, one on April 9, 2016, and a follow up meeting on June 2, 2016. Following these meetings, the RFP was issued July 1, 2016.

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) received nine proposals from the following development teams in response to the RFP:

  • Borger Management and Spectrum Management
  • Gilbane Development Company and NHT-Enterprise
  • Duball and Bundy Development Corp.
  • Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC) and NVR
  • Telesis Corp.
  • Mission First, UrbanMatters Development and Lock7 Development
  • NHP Foundation, Fivesquares Development, and Warrenton Group
  • Victory Housing and Brinshore Development
  • Bozzuto Homes and The Menkiti Group

The next step in the process will be for DMPED to coordinate with ANCs 1A and 4C, and the community, to review the concepts and garner comments on which proposals are considered most promising. This could happen withing the next few weeks with the ANCs considering formal positions at their March meetings.

Then and Now: Lithuanian Embassy on 16th Street

January 26, 2017

Recently I found a glass magic lantern slide showing the “Norwegian Ligation” located on 16th Street in 1912 (see below). The Norwegian embassy moved to a new building on Massachusetts Avenue in 1931, where it remains today.

1912-norway-lithuania-embassies(Lithuanian Embassy building on 16th Street in 1912)

Anyone familiar with the building will know instantly that the building in the photo is actually two buildings. the northern half is the Lithuanian Embassy, and the southern half was razed and replaced with a tall apartment building in 1965 which is jarringly incompatible with the surrounding architectural character of the area. However, I think it is easy to miss that the Lithuanian embassy building itself has also had an addition — not just in the rear but also on top. In this way, I think the expansion of the 1907 building was accomplished successfully. It is also good to see that Lithuania is a good steward of its building, and undertook a restoration of the limestone and terracotta facades in 2008, which can be seen here.

lithuanian-embassy-2017(View of Lithuanian Embassy and abutting apartment building as it appears today)


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