Tag Archives: Old Georgetown Board

Monumental or Eyesore?

West Heating Plant


Last month, a consortium of investors, including the Levy Group and Four Seasons, won the auction to purchase the historic West Heating Plant on 29th st. The future of the building is now in doubt, but is it worth saving as is?

No formal plans have been presented by the winning group, but you can read between the lines of their few public statements. Most tellingly, in a letter from the Zoning Administrator to the group’s lawyer, the general proposal to tear down most of the building was discussed. The request asked what the zoning implications would be to keep the 29th St. facade but tear down most of the rest of the building.

Some, like GM, think the entire building is worth saving. It’s a striking example of a austere Art Deco style in a city mostly untouched by that style. The front facade, (which the group seems likely to keep anyway) is a muscular and monolithic edifice, that is detailed with a precise yet delicate brickwork borders:

1000 block of 29th St.


The rest of the building carries on that muscular hulk:

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The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by M.V. Jantzen.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

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The Morning Metropolitan

Whitehurst Freeway by M.V. Jantzen.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

  • Everyone seems to hate the look of EastBanc’s proposed building at the Exxon station, even Anthony Lanier (although it’s important to note that Lanier isn’t backing down on his plans to build a five story building on that site).
  • DCist takes a look at the Volta Bureau.

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New Billboard Almost Certainly Breaking the Law

GM was out on M St last weekend walking over to the Georgetown Running Company to pick out some new running shoes when he came across the garish billboard seen above. It’s been applied to the windows of the currently vacant space between North Face and the (also vacant) Philadelphia Cheesesteak Factory. The building is owned by East Banc.

The ad is for a beer called “Landshark Lager” an Anheuser-Busch beer made for Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville restaurant. While the yellow parts of the sign above are plastic adhesive signs, the black rectangle is actually a big screen TV playing ads for the beer:

This sign almost certainly breaks the law. While some building can get away with huge signs announcing their impending opening (like there was at the North Face store) this doesn’t appear to be announcing any new establishment. That is, at least GM hopes it’s not. We don’t need something as incredibly cheesy as a Margaritaville in Georgetown. Continue reading


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Guess Who’s One Year Old?: The Third Most Popular Post

This week, in celebration of turning one year old, the Georgetown Metropolitan is looking back at the five most popular posts from its first year. Today we head back to February 3rd for The Approved Apple Designs. This was a post from the middle of the Apple Store saga. As you can see below, it captured those few days between ANC approval of the fourth design put forward by Apple and the rejection by the Old Georgetown Board of the same.

The construction at 1229 Wisconsin Ave. should tell you that that wasn’t the end of the story for the Apple store. One month later Apple was back with a slightly modified design, and finally obtained approval from the Old Georgetown Board.

By the way, one online source says that Apple has posted for jobs for a May 2010 grand opening of the store…

While Vox Populi may have gotten the DCist link love it’s the Georgetown Metropolitan that has the actual approved most recently rejected* designs for the new Apple store at 1229 Wisconsin Ave. Check them out:
The Approved Apple Store Design
As described in GM’s ANC round up, the approved design fits in with the 19th century buildings around it. The roofline matches the building housing Nine West and is decorated by dentil mouldings, echoing its neighbors. Hopefully the actual structure won’t be the blinding white light that the designs make them out to be. Continue reading

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The Morning Metropolitan

Georgetown homes by -marten-

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

  • Some store named “Anthony” is opening soon on Wisconsin Ave. just above R St. It appears to be a clothing boutique but GM couldn’t confirm that.
  • Last month the Old Georgetown Board rejected a design put forward by Ristorante Piccolo to add a roof deck. OGB is fine with the general idea of a roof deck facing onto to Blue Alley, it just wants the 31st St. facing balcony removed first.
  • Another G.U. Ten Year Plan Meeting tonight. The topic: Transportation. Expect to hear the words “GUTS” and “route” a whole bunch of times.


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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. Continue reading


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