Hotly Debated Adams Morgan Project Receives Historic Approval, With Comments

by Nena Perry-Brown

New rendering of 1800 Columbia Road NW as seen on 18th Street

In October, the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) approved the design for the much-debated redevelopment of the Suntrust Plaza in Adams Morgan while highlighting some elements that could use improvement. On Thursday afternoon, the Board approved a revised version of the design for the site.

While the HPRB found the design to be compatible with the historic district, members commented on the “lackluster” facade of the building and a desire to see more detailed elements and a more pedestrian-friendly experience along 18th Street and at the plaza.

PN Hoffman and Potomac Investment Properties are helming the redevelopment of the site of the SunTrust bank and plaza at 1800 Columbia Road NW (map); Eric Colbert and Associates is the architect. The building will be seven stories and deliver 60 residential units atop 8,375 square feet of street-level retail.

Rendering of the building as seen from Columbia Road NW

Since October, several design details have been added to the plans, including colonettes, decorative grills and riveted lintel elements on the red brick portion of the building. The bays on that side will also feature metal spandrel panels and the garage entrance will be framed with inset and Flemish bond brick patterns.

In response to the Board’s desire that the penthouse cornice be made less prominent, the architects removed the cornice completely and replaced it with retractable awnings.

Sketch of the planned plaza at the corner of the site

While Boardmembers agreed that the design refinements address the issues of pedestrian scale as requested and succeed in making the property read as two buildings, they did add some comments for further consideration.

For example, instead of being eliminated and replaced with awnings, the Board asked that the penthouse cornice instead be minimized. Boardmember Joseph Taylor requested that the Flemish bond pattern be included in the design of the Columbia Road portion of the building as well. It was also suggested that the design team find ways to incorporate recognition of the history and import of the plaza as a public space into the design of the plaza itself.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/hprb_approves_suntrust_plaza_design_refinements_with_comments/12091

1 Comment

  1. Jay said at 8:07 pm on Tuesday January 31, 2017:

    Looks good. Let’s build it! As a 20 year resident of Adams Morgan, I’m so tired of looking at that eyesore.

Comments are closed.

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