Archive for the ‘Historic Landmarks’ category

Historic Preservation Review Board Approves Restoration Plans for Hebrew Home on Spring Road

January 26, 2018

At the January 25, 2018, Historic Preservation Review Board hearing, the Board approved the preservation plan for the renovation of the historic Hebrew Home building at 1125 Spring Road. The case was approved as part of the Board’s consent agenda. The hearing only focused on the overall plan for the historic structure, and not the proposed development east of the property as it does not encroach upon the historic site.

Site plan showing location of non-historic structures to be removed during renovations.

The renovation plan focused on exterior modifications. The primary exterior modifications include complete replacement of existing (non-historic) windows and doors. Aluminum-clad wood windows with simulated divided lights are proposed. The development team consulted historic photographs in order to propose new windows that match the original windows as closely as possible with respect to operation and lite patterns.

Restoration of the existing exterior masonry is also planned as part of the renovation. This will include cleaning and repair/repointing of the brick as necessary. As part of the renovation, a limited number of selective reductions of non-historic exterior elements is proposed including removal of a one-story brick shed on the west side, a one-story open carport structure on the north side, an existing two-story free-standing utility building on the north side and a one-story walkway canopy connecting to the existing adjacent Robeson School building to the east.
Two small additions were also proposed and approved. A one-story addition on the first floor within the existing interior courtyard (and not visible from the exterior) which will provide a multi-use amenity space for residents and a one-story addition on the fifth floor which will provide 2 apartments and a second means of egress from an existing amenity space overlooking Spring Road. This proposed roof addition is located on the east wing adjacent to the interior courtyard and is set back substantially from the east building face to minimize (or eliminate) its visual perception from the public right-of-way.

The existing open space along Spring Road between the Hebrew Home and the adjacent Jewish Social Services Agency building will be redeveloped to create a new pocket park accessible to the public. In keeping with the original character of this exterior space, the design will provide small passive-use spaces with minimal plantings. In order to provide access to the space from the Spring Road streetscape, a new ADA ramp and access stair will be constructed in public space. This will require minor modifications to the existing brick retaining wall at the back of the existing sidewalk.

Below are some renderings filed with the HPRB case.

(Plan showing park area with notations showing improvements.)

(Plan showing location of new additions.)

(Perspective from the southeast (front), identifying location of rooftop addition.)

(Perspective from northwest (rear), identifying location of rooftop addition.)

Renovations at Park View School Begin

January 9, 2018

In December 2017, months of planning and design work to construct a new cafeteria, new parking lot, and renovated restrooms at the Bruce-Monroe @ Park View School began.

The overall scope of the kitchen project includes a new and larger cafeteria and dining space, which will be constructed in the school’s north gymnasium. When this is completed, a gymnasium will be constructed in the former kitchen space. Current and past documents and reports related to this project can be found here.

As of the January update from the School Improvement Team, the ground floor bathroom demolition work began of the Winter break, and a dust barrier has been installed to keep the bathroom demolition area separated from the corridor.

A barrier wall has also been installed in the gymnasium to separate construction activity from areas still in use by the school. Photos of each are below.

(Construction workers inside the bathrooms.)

(A wooden panel to reinforce the gym barrier wall.)

Community Input on Hebrew Home Development Begins

December 4, 2017

Victory Housing and the Brinshore Development team held the first of several community engagement meetings on the redevelopment of the historic Hebrew Home property on Saturday, December 2nd. After an introduction and PowerPoint presentation, neighbors were able to dig deeper into four difference aspects of the project to help guide the team in shaping the development. The four breakout areas were:

  • Historic Preservation & Corner Design
  • Traffic Management & Parking
  • Community Spaces & Benefits
  • Sustainability Strategies

Commissioner Boese and neighbors participating in the discussion on how the new building could fit with the century-old neighborhood.

The overall plan of the project will include the creation of 187 residential units through a mix of townhomes and apartments. The project will include the creation of 88 units of affordable housing for seniors at or below 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI) through the adaptive preservation of the historic Hebrew Home building as well as the creation of 62 units of affordable housing in a newly constructed building at the current site of the Paul Robeson School.

The engagement meeting was an opportunity for neighbors to identify, discuss, and offer ideas on the design of the project; identify and offer solutions to potential traffic and parking impacts the project may create; and discuss community goals for the development along with how the revitalized property could serve the community as well as the neighborhood.

One item that was share during the presentation that was new to the community was that the development team, at the suggestion of the Office of Planning, will be seeking to rezone the property to allow a by-right project. Previously, the development team was planning to go through the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process. The process to rezone the site will still provide an opportunity for both ANC1A and ANC4C to weigh in, though the nuances between the two still needs to be explored.

Below are two of the flip charts showing some of the bullets on what was identified in two of the stations.

 

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.

 


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