To the Georgetown Metropolitan,

GM occasionally receives an email inquiring about a particular building (e.g. “what’s going on with that construction?”). For instance yesterday he received this note:

I don’t know if you have ever noticed the building that stands on the SE corner of M and 31st Streets…It’s currently occupied by German television Channel 2, I believe. Anyway it is under scaffolding right now and I wonder what they are up to. It’s a beautiful old building but had some regrettable alterations – from a purist’s point of view – made to it over the years.

Ask, and you shall receive.

Ask GM

The current tenant of that space is ZDF (that’s “Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen” or, as the reader suggested, “German Channel 2”). ZDF is a German television station based in Mainz, Germany.

At some point this building was a bank, but GM couldn’t identify what the bank was and when it left. All he could find in the Post archives was a listing for an apartment on the third floor from 1984 (2B/2BA for $249k).

As for the current construction, the Old Georgetown Board approved several changes to the building earlier this year. In January they decided that:

No objection to concept design development details for proposed canted glass wall and zinc roof alterations at entrance link as shown in supplemental drawings received and dated 30 December 2008. Recommend further study of color of zinc, clear glass, alternate fret pattern, minimal horizontal mullions, beltcourse extension, and door at roof. Provide color options in concrete specifications. File new submission of working drawings, including details and dimensions, with permit application for review by the Commission when ready.

They came back in March and decided that:

No objection to issuance of permit for alterations to existing entrance with concrete portal, canted curtain wall with Viracon glass 40% dot, flat-seam zinc roofing, and new mechanical, historic bank building to have new zinc roof with 1″ standing seams, as shown in supplemental drawings dated 18 March 2009. Note: Any subsequent modifications to the exterior design made during DCRA technical review must be re-submitted to the Commission for approval prior to issuance of permit.

It seems that this approval primarily concerns the glass structure or “hyphen” that connects the two buildings along 31st St.

So sadly, it does not seem that there will be much change to this building that currently has zero street presence.

So if you have a similar question about a development around town, drop GM at line at Georgetownmetropolitan (at) gmail (dot) com and he’ll see what he can dig up.


Filed under Development

2 responses to “To the Georgetown Metropolitan,

  1. Thanks for the info, it’s too bad that such a remarkable building does not have more public use available. I bet the second floor has high ceilings and great views of the corner.

  2. David

    While only somewhat related, here is a video tour of ZDF’s Washington studio (the building shown above):
    The video is in German, but even if you do not understand German, it should still provide you with a “peek” into the building.

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