GM was going to publish this article to remind you that the West Heating Plant open house was tonight. He just received notice that the meeting was postponed because the architect can’t make it. Here’s the post for some more background info:
Tonight at Georgetown Visitation, the public will be given an opportunity to review the state of the plans for the replacement of the West Heating Plant. The meeting will be hosted by the Georgetown Citizens Association and will also serve as a meeting of the whole of the ANC.
When last we heard publicly about these plans, this is what famed architect David Adjaye drew up for the project:
It would involve taking down almost all of the building, leaving just the 29th st. facade. The bulk of the current building, however, would largely be replicated in the new building. A park would be created on the south part of the lot.
Since that time several things have occurred. One group of preservationists challenged that the shape of the building demands razing. The developers, led by Levy Group and the Four Seasons, obviously disagreed. An independent review was performed. Then there was a bit of a fight between competing reports: one advocating for total raze, minus the west facade, the other calling just for localized repair. We’re still a long way from the Old Georgetown Board making a decision (which, really, would likely only be the first of many boards that will end up reviewing this project).
That whole review process has been somewhat held up by a separate process: the landmark application led by the DC Preservation League. That effort earned the support of the staff of the DC Historic Preservation Office. But it failed to sway the Historic Preservation Review Board in April. That leaves the raze application outstanding.
Interestingly, during one of the Old Georgetown Board meetings on the property, one of the board members suggested the developers consider tearing down the entire building and starting from scratch. GM believes that so long as any part of the old building remains, like a vestigial brick wall, then the developers could build back up to the original building envelope, which is otherwise way more than the zoning would allow.
So it will be interesting to see what plans they present next week. We’ll see…