Capitol Hill Restoration Society

FAQs on Historic Districts

Posted on October 26th, 2014

In response to questions from the community about historic districts, CHRS asked the DC Historic Preservation Office to provide FAQs concerning historic districts.  Here is their response:

Read more…

1329 Constitution Ave NE, HPA 14-043

Posted on July 17th, 2014

The project has some excellent features, including the restoration of the north elevation.  When the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) considered this application on March 6, 2014, the HPRB denied the concept as inconsistent with the historic preservation act because of the amount of demolition.

Following the March 6, 2014 hearing, applicant submitted three sets of plans dated April 13, 2014, May 6, 2014, and June 12, 2014 (hereafter April, May, June plans).  The April plans showed that the project had been greatly improved.  The April plans reduced the amount of demolition (including retaining the roof) and omitted a roof deck that had been included in earlier plans.  However, the May plans once again called for demolition, including demolition of the existing roof, and adding a roof deck.   We believed that the May plans were not compatible with the Capitol Hill Historic District.  The June plans eliminate some demolition of rear walls on the first and second story, retaining portions of these walls as interior walls and  retain more interior framing than the April or May plans. But, the June plans still call for demolishing the roof and adding a roof deck.  While reducing demolition of walls on the second and third story is a step in the right direction, the most important demolition element, the roof, remains a problem.   For this reason we  believe that the June plans are not compatible with the Capitol Hill Historic District Act.  We also share the concerns raised in the staff report concerning visibility of the third story.

The entire text of the testimony: CHRSHPRB14-043test1329ConstAveJune2014ep

1220 Potomac Ave SE, HPA 13-566

Posted on July 17th, 2014

The Historic Preservation Committee has reviewed the applicant’s revised plans dated June, 2014.  We are very appreciative that the applicant has greatly improved the design, by using a uniform brick color (white) with a darker brick accent, paired one-over one wood clad windows on the front elevation, and double-hung windows on the side elevation.  The new plans show that the new building will follow the building line of the existing rowhouses.   We support the staff report’s suggestions concerning additional information needed, and the need for further study of the design elements including the  front entrance, canopy, door, additional windows.

The full text of the testimony: CHRSHPRB13-566test1220PotoamcAveJune2014ep

630 D Street NE, HPA 14-448

Posted on July 17th, 2014

The rowhouse at 630 D Street, NE is a two and one-half story building with Flemish bond coursing, a two-bay porch, and mansard roof with two gable dormers. The project has a number of excellent features, including careful restoration the front exterior of a brick rowhouse that is now in poor condition. However, the project as currently proposed would alter this rowhouse’s front retaining wall and two other important character-defining attributes in order to make a wheelchair-accessible entrance into the front basement. However, a feasible alteration of the plans would preserve the character-defining attributes while allowing construction of a wheelchair entrance to the house in the rear, accessible through an alley behind the house.

The complete text of the letter to HPRB: CHRS630DstNEHPRB14-448comments072014ep