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HPO Recommends Conceptual Approval For Wizards Facility at St. Elizabeth’s

by Nena Perry-Brown

HPO Recommends Conceptual Approval For Wizards Facility at St. Elizabeth's: Figure 1

This Thursday, the Historic Preservation Review Board will consider the concept for the sports and entertainment facility at the St. Elizabeth’s redevelopment in Congress Heights. If the Board follows the advisement of the Historic Preservation Office (HPO), the concept will be approved with some elements bearing further consideration.

The 4,200-seat sports and entertainment arena would be constructed to replace two already-demolished hospital buildings at 1100 Alabama Avenue SE (map). The venue will largely be used by Monumental Sports and Entertainment, whose Wizards would use the facility for practice and whose Mystics would play games there, with the potential for other teams (perhaps Ted Leonsis’ new arena football team?) to eventually join.

The facility will be constructed of painted metal panels and large cream-colored bricks, the scale and coloration of which HPO has expressed concern. The Office would like to see either small panels used or small-scale variations in color in order for the design to relate more to the building’s historical neighbors.

HPO also noted that what is now the back of the building toward 13th Street is largely designed to be a blank wall, something that will need to evolve further as the rest of the complex is developed around the arena. There would be no parking directly beneath the building; instead, there will be an adjacent surface parking lot. HPO is concerned about the security of and landscaping surrounding this lot, including the design’s conspicuous placement of a stormwater retention system in the front yard.

Events DC is the applicant and will be the initial leaseholder of the city-owned site; Marshall Moya Design is the project’s architect. The venue will also host community events, concerts and other forms of entertainment.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/hprb_expected_to_approve_sports_complex_at_st_es/11884

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