Archive for the ‘Restoration repair and maintenance’ 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.)

Artificial Turf or Natural Grass — What is Your Opinion on What’s Best for DC Athletic Fields

January 25, 2018

Last fall, the start of the school year was greeted with the unwelcome news that several of DC’s artificial turf athletic fields were considered unsafe and would need to be closed for repair or replacement. In our area, two fields that came under scrutiny were the fields at Harriet Tubman Elementary School and at the Park View Recreation Center. Fortunately, both of those fields were able to be used after some repairs, but the underlying condition remains.

The conversations that resulted from the field safety issue is ongoing, and many advocates of safe athletic fields would like to see the District discontinue using crumb rubber artificial fields.

Now, the Department  of General Services has created an online survey to allow neighbors to express their opinions on the issue. The online survey will be open until January 31st! (Take Survey here).

According to DGS:

This quick survey is an important way for us to get … feedback from DC residents and users of our playing fields on experiences with fields owned and operated by the District government, including public parks and schools. We’re also interested in your perspective on the type of materials used for field surfaces, and how any major changes to fields are communicated to the community.

Respondents to this survey have the option of submitting contact information for further engagement on this topic, but you also have the option to remain anonymous. Responses to this survey will help inform improvements to District policy on managing and maintaining fields.

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.)

DC Water Main Replacement

November 14, 2017

I checked in with DC Water to see how the water main replacement on Park Road and Morton Street was coming along. Per the project manager, the Park Rd section should be completed & fully restored by next week. The Morton Street section should be completely done by the end of December, weather permitting.

(Water main replacement on Park Road at the beginning of the project.)

DC Water Repairs Kenyon

November 13, 2017

On November 6th I reported that DC Water had permits to repair the temporary patch in the area of 513 Kenyon by December 2, 2017. In reaching out to DC Water for a follow up, I learned that they were scheduling the work to commence around November 9th. I’m happy to share that the were was completed last week before the Veterans Day holiday.

DDOT and DC Water Act Quickly to Repair Sidewalk and Road on Kenyon

November 6, 2017

Damaged sidewalk in front of 513 Kenyon St., where the asphalt patch had failed.

Both the District Department of Transportation and DC Water acted quickly last week to make sidewalk and street repairs on Kenyon Street.

On Thursday, November 2nd, I meet with a neighbor on Kenyon Street to discuss the condition of the street in the vicinity of 511 Kenyon, where utility work earlier in the year created a situation where the road was uneven and caused  larger trucks traveling down the street to bounce and be noisy. It was clear upon inspection that the asphalt patch in the street was failing and creating a speed bump type of situation.

Upon visiting the street, we also noticed a break in the sidewalk near 513 Kenyon Street where a cut had been made for a utility line and the asphalt patch there had also failed creating a sunken trip hazard.

In both cases, action was taken quickly following my report.

DDOT removed and replaced the broken sidewalk area within 24 hours. I reported the failed temporary road repair to DC Water, and that was also quickly addressed.

In contacting DDOT on Saturday, they confirmed that the street issue was due to a DC Water excavation that is roughly 4′ x 5′ in the concrete roadway, and that it had been repatched within 8 hours of their inspection. DDOT observed no excessive roadway vibrations or noises at that time. They also shared that the area appears to be marked for permanent restoration with a permit that expires on December 2, 2017.

(Repaired section of Sidewalk on the 500 b/o Kenyon.)

Below, before (top) and after (bottom) photos of the asphalt patch on Kenyon.

 

Sidewalk Safety Measures Should be in Every Neighborhood

September 28, 2017

Section of sidewalk with ground corners.

While walking around Park View and Columbia Heights, I frequently find sections of raised sidewalk that are trip hazards. Yet, I’ve noticed while walking around in the Adams Morgan area that many of the raised corners that were once trip hazards have been ground down (see example at right).

The more I consider the different treatment of how sidewalks are made safe in Ward 1, the more I think that the efforts to make Adams Morgan sidewalks safe need to be rolled out to every neighborhood. I’ll be advocating with the city to either grind down or replace the unsafe sidewalks areas in our section of the Ward 1.

 

 


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