19-Unit Apartment Building Proposed for Naylor Court

  • March 22nd 2013

by Shilpi Paul

19-Unit Apartment Building Proposed for Naylor Court: Figure 1
Carriage house behind 1322 9th Street NW. Courtesy of David Salter.

A five-story, 19-unit apartment building is planned for 1322 9th Street NW, currently a vacant lot with a small carriage house at the back.

The carriage house fronts onto Naylor Court, and an architect from the firm Swanke Hayden Connell Architects stopped by the Blagden Alley Naylor Court Association (BANCA) meeting on Thursday night to discuss the preliminary plans.

The carriage house achieved some blogosphere fame recently: late last year, the owner applied for a raze permit for the building, which was deteriorating to such a degree that a tree was growing in the wall and the roof was caving in. The request was denied by the Historic Preservation Review Board, who stated that the building contributed to the historic character of Naylor Court, which has been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.

19-Unit Apartment Building Proposed for Naylor Court: Figure 2
The north wall of the carriage house. Courtesy of David Salter

As such, the most heated discussions at the meeting surrounded the owner’s plans for that structure. In the current plans, the building walls would be torn down and partially rebuilt with the same bricks, and the interior space would be turned into a courtyard, open to the air. The architect stated that in their current condition, the walls are not stable enough to restore.

The residents seemed unanimous in their opposition to this part of the plan. While the residents were strongly in support of a residential building going up on the lot, they insisted that the architect find a way to preserve the wall of the carriage house facing Naylor Court to maintain the historic character of the alley.

“The HPRB wants the building to be saved,” said one. Another observed that a building that had been rebuilt in the manner suggested by the architect now “looks like Disneyland.”

One resident noted that when designer Darryl Carter faced similar challenges with an adjacent structure, he maintained the walls by reinforcing them with steel beams, though at great expense. Carter has expressed interest in taking over the 1322 9th Street NW carriage house restoration, said the resident.

The architect and owner behind 1322 9th Street NW are meeting with the Historic Preservation Office soon. We’ll keep you updated as the project moves forward.

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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/19_unit_apartment_building_proposed_for_naylor_court/6826.

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