October 2016 Archives

Turrets are cool

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R and 4th NWSo at this week's BACA (almost every 1st Monday of the month at Mt. Sinai) meeting the development team for 319 R St NW came to connect with the community about their project. Good start, maybe it will make up for failing to take care of the weeds that got overgrown on the property while they owned it.

They had diagrams of their plans and maybe those may show up later on the BACA blog should they submit them. They need zoning variances for a few things, such as building a little bit beyond their envelope, a proposed penthouse on top of a 3rd floor addition, and they want to remove the turret.

They had pictures of the 1700 block of 4th Street and the 200 block of R Street to show differences. Yes, the 1700 block of 4th doesn't have turrets. That's probably because it was built in the 19th century and the houses on the 300 block of R are from the early 20th century. Also the houses on the odd side of the 300 block of R Street are Harry Wardman houses. Yes, authentic Wardman houses, look it up. The 200 block of R? I have no idea.

I'd would like it if they kept the turret. Turrets are cool. Truxton Circle doesn't have as many turrets as Bloomingdale, but the ones we do have, I like. The one's Bloomingdale has lost stay ugly. You get used to it, like a blemish, but it is still ugly.

Now I know some of you are saying, "if you were in a historic district...." I spit on your historic districting. I don't care about the kinds of windows or doors they are putting in the places there are spaces for windows and doors. I don't care that they are putting an entrance on 4th St and adding a parking pad (don't know how that will impact access for others into the alley). I don't care about the paint colors or roofing material. I do care about the rooftop deck area with a penthouse as I am concerned about noise. I'm worried about the loss of the turret. More importantly, I'm fearful that breaking it up and adding the ugly by removing the turret would doom the property to the horrid fate of the adjoining vacant buildings, which are defunct condos.

Besides the turret there were a few other things that bugged me. As far as I know the Korean Presbyterians never had hundreds of people lined up outside of their mission house at 319 R. They may have had dozens, at most, and people hanging out, but never hundreds. Even the 7th day Adventists on 4th St with their Sunday soup kitchen never had hundreds. The other thing they mentioned was that they reached out to neighbors. Well the neighbors across the street missed that outreach or it wasn't clear. It isn't entirely clear that the residents who live on the same block and in view of the project were adequately reached.   

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