WaPo Retells the Apple Saga

The news was first broke by us bloggers, but it was The Washington Post that pulled all the strings together to retell the whole Apple store saga, with more photos to boot. Paul Schwarzman’s article and the DC Wire’s post show the evolution of Apple’s designs. The most interesting point for GM was that WaPo reached out to the U.S. Fine Arts Commission and got copies of Apple’s previous proposals.

First of all, how close was GM’s Photoshop sight-unseen hacksaw job to the actual proposal? Surprisingly close:


Apple's on the left, GM's on the right

Apple's on the left, GM's on the right

Besides a bit of self-congratulation, the other thing GM finds interesting about WaPo’s effort is that the undertone of the article seems to be that the ANC and Old Georgetown Board are somehow to blame for this waste of time. Schwarzmann writes:

In advance of its presentation tomorrow, Apple on Monday showed its latest renderings to Georgetown’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission. The commission applauded the design, which appeared to feature only one difference from the first offering:

Instead of five windows across the second floor, there are now four.

ANC members who previously had criticized Apple’s designs applauded the company for its responsiveness to community concerns.

They only ask that Apple consider a bit more detail around the windows.

There’s a bit of sass with that last sentence, as if to say “Oh great, here we go again.”

From GM’s perspective, the delay and chagrin was caused by Apple’s attempts to push the boundaries. It’s clear they knew right off the bat what would be acceptable. While the Old Georgetown Board complained about the expanse of glass fronting the street with the first design, how could the response possibly be to suggest a giant ice cube like this:


Courtesy of the U.S. Fine Arts Commission

Courtesy of the U.S. Fine Arts Commission

Apple followed this completely out-of-place design with the silly design at the top of this post. It’s only after that design was rejected that they came back with the modest design that was approved by the ANC.



Filed under Development

4 responses to “WaPo Retells the Apple Saga

  1. Andrew Hallock

    I think Apple’s strategy is pretty simple. Propose something nearly acceptable, get rejected propose two crazy outlandish proposals that will and did get flatly rejected and finally propose a design nearly identical to the first and get approved. Way to go Apple.

    What baffles me is why they wanted to put a store in Georgetown to begin with. Sure there is more money to spend in GT than other neighborhoods but Apple fans already travel to get service, support and purchase Steve Jobs latest must have. Plopping an Apple store near a metro stop would have been a bit better for the rest of the city.

    Perhaps after all the traffic to the new store metro will rethink the excessive stops that the 30s make through Georgetown and streamline the route further.

  2. SG

    I don’t live in Gtown, but I’ve noticed that there’s a weird disdain for Georgetown by media and others. So they’re quick (and eager) to assign blame not to everyone’s favorite hip corporation selling overpriced flashy products, but rather the “stuffy, controlling Georgetown powers that be.” Clearly in this instance, it is wrong. It’s sad that Georgetown is getting slandered in the press for something that they are so clearly in “the right” over. Apple has to play by the rules just like everyone else. I think if this was anyone but Apple (or a few other hip flavors of the week), it would be a non-issue. But everyone worships at the altar of Apple, so they can do no wrong…

  3. maybe Apple was just seeing if they could get one by the architectural goalie. kudos to GM for some great on-the-ground reporting.

  4. Pingback: iWant – Truxton Is In Shaw

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