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Chapman Stables Development Needs to Alter Roof Addition Before Key Approval

by Tianna Mañón

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A rendering shows the historic building from the street level

A proposal to redevelop a former garage and stables in Truxton Circle is headed back to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) on Thursday, and a staff report from the Historic Preservation Office shows that while it recommends the project’s approval, there is still concern about the proposed roof structure, which was a sticking point at the last meeting.

Developer Four Points is planning a 110-unit residential development at Chapman Stables that would combine two lots, one the historic stable and the other a vacant lot at 57 N Street NW (map). The historic building will have an additional glassy third floor and the new construction behind it will rise to five stories. Originally, 120 units were proposed but HPRB requested a decrease for the roof addition on the historic building, which reduced the number of units.

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A rendering shows the proposed courtyard.

Four Points reduced the design yet again, which could impact the total number of units. It’s now proposing to set the structure back 21 feet and six inches, instead of 12 and a half feet. The full height for the structure remains unchanged at 25 feet, bringing the building to a total 50 feet.

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A view from the above shows the two buildings from an aerial view.

While the Historic Preservation Office noted in its report that Four Points has made some changes, it said that the structure is still not aligned with the character of the stable.

“The revised plans do not adequately address the more significant issue of the scale of construction on the historic building’s rooftop,” the report stated. “The Staff recommends that the Board approve the project with the condition that a preservation plan be prepared and presented and that the proposed roof addition to the landmark be removed entirely, or be sharply reduced in scale.”

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A rendering that shows the first floor of the proposed new structure.
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A rendering from the street in front of the new structure.
Chapman Stables

See other articles related to: truxton circle, four points llc, four points, chapman stables

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/historic_preservation_review_board_still_not_happy_with_chapman_stables_pro/10178

8 Comments

  1. Logan said at 12:03 pm on Tuesday July 28, 2015:

    Considering what that space looks like now, honestly, this is absurd.  It looks like it belongs in Syria, not DC.  Be happy anyone is coming in to do anything on that block.

  1. Brett said at 12:20 pm on Tuesday July 28, 2015:

    I agree with Logan. It’s an eye sore, and it’s hard to believe that this has been sitting vacant for so long. The fact that the roof on the modern portion of the development sits back from the street it should be a non-issue because it will not be visible at eye level from the street.

  1. Eddie said at 12:36 pm on Tuesday July 28, 2015:

    I disagree with the eyesore part, but that’s just my opinion about the aesthetic which is subjective. But giving them a hard time about adding above the historic part is kind of ridiculous. They are already keeping the historic front, which is great. Just psyched the block is getting more development, getting safer with more people.

  1. skidrowedc@gmail.com said at 2:03 pm on Tuesday July 28, 2015:

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again…I’ll grudgingly agree that this design meets the DC historic standard of “not incompatible,” but that doesn’t change the fact that this design has no discernable relationship to the existing building to which it is an addition, nor the existing neighborhood.  Maybe it’s harder to draw from the existing than to copy buildings in the Netherlands and Germany, but it doesn’t earn my admiration. 

    Especially here—the existing building gives so much to work with: groups of regularly-spaced windows that evoke a smaller module; variety of opening sizes and characters at ground level; a basic material and color palette, and so forth.  All ignored in favor of disconnected precedents from the architecture magazines: the new opera house in Oslo, new public housing in Holland, or the new dormitory in a Midwestern university trying to prove its modernity.  It’s just disappointing.

  1. Brett said at 2:47 pm on Tuesday July 28, 2015:

    @Eddie

    My “eyesore” comment was about the current vacant property not the planned development. The modern section, while not ideal, will not be visible from N Street, so I have no issues with it.

  1. Jay said at 3:17 pm on Tuesday July 28, 2015:

    What a ridiculous design. It looks nothing like the original structure. The design looks dated and will become an eyesore in 10 years. Why can’t these architects design something that will withstand the test of time.

  1. Logan said at 5:29 pm on Tuesday July 28, 2015:

    @skirowedc - the modern part you seem to hate isn’t visible from the side of the building that anyone would see anyway.  It’s on the back half of the lot that is currently empty.  There’s no building there at all.  The existing building is a dilapidated factory that literally is crumbling apart.  And the first picture of this post shows the only part of the original structure anyone is every going to see and it fits it preserves the structure.  Beyond that, I frankly don’t think it is anyone’s business what goes on an empty lot or the back half of a lot no one sees except the multitude of drug dealers selling drugs in that alley. 

    Go to that block and walk around and then whine and complain about how no one is preserving something.  If you do, make sure you’re not carrying any valuables with you.

    As a neighbor to this, I applaud it and welcome it and cannot wait for it.

  1. Logan said at 5:34 pm on Tuesday July 28, 2015:

    Here is a good photo of what that building looks like today: http://batesareacivicassociation.org/2015/07/28/hprb-on-chapman-stables-roof-alternation-needed/

    I’m not sure I understand any arguments that isn’t being well preserved and incorporated into an important development for that area.

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