Town Center East Deemed Historic, Developers Back to the Drawing Board

by Shilpi Paul

Town Center East Deemed Historic, Developers Back to the Drawing Board: Figure 1
Town Center East

At Monday night’s monthly ANC 6D meeting, area residents learned that the two buildings and associated grounds at Town Center East, located at 1001 and 1101 3rd Street SW (map), were deemed historic landmarks by the Historic Preservation Review Board last month, putting a wrench in developer’s plans to build three new residential buildings at the site.

The two existing nine-story buildings, and a courtyard at the site, were designed by I.M. Pei in the early 1960s in a modernist style. The historic designation came just before The Bernstein Companies were able to finalize their plans to put two high-rise buildings and one smaller building on the site.

According to meeting attendees, the developers have been in talks with the Historic Preservation Office about how to move forward, and were told that their previous designs will need to be significantly revamped. Originally, they had planned to build the two high-rise structures on what are now parking lots, and to build the smaller residential project in between the existing buildings. Because the courtyard is now protected, the third building would not be able to exist as planned.

As they go back to the drawing board, the developers may return to the ANC in August to discuss their updated plans.

See other articles related to: town center east, navy yard, anc 6d

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/navy_yards_town_center_east_deemed_historic_developers_back_to_the_drawing/7291


  1. SWDC said at 7:42 pm on Tuesday July 9, 2013:
    Those buildings are no where near the Navy Yard...
  1. Eric said at 8:21 pm on Tuesday July 9, 2013:
    Will HPRB be paying for the updated design work since the previous designs will need to be significantly revamped? This is infuriating to me...HPRB needs to stay out of the way of a worthy development that could add a great amenity to derelict neighborhood. I hope that this isn't preservation for the sake of protecting a star architects' mediocre project, since DC lacks a large supply of brand name architecture projects. Come on HPRB...get your %*#! together.
  1. mona said at 11:42 pm on Tuesday July 9, 2013:
    They did the same thing in bloomingdale at the Mcmillian Site. Had it declared historic then the developers went back and redid a lot of stuff but people still complaining like the had purposed to pave over the whole thing but 1/3 of it is parkland. Best of luck you have some ugly people in your neighborhood just like we have over here. Watch out to make sure they don't try and make the whole place a vegetable garden like they are in bloomingdale
  1. hoos30 said at 3:03 am on Wednesday July 10, 2013:
    The time to abolish the HPRB is fast approaching.
  1. wd said at 2:02 pm on Wednesday July 10, 2013:
    Very glad this was deemed historic. It's unfortunate that many think that only federalist and neo-greek stuff is worthy of preservation. Thank you HPRB - keep fighting the good fight.
  1. yeceer said at 2:25 pm on Wednesday July 10, 2013:
    I used to live at 1101 3rd St and now live across the street. This started because the condo owners didn't want to have their courtyard behind the building and their views in front of the building blocked. If I were an owner, I probably would have done the same thing - protect my investment. Kudos to them for working the system. And yeah, it's in the SW Waterfront neighborhood - not Navy Yard.
  1. steve strauss said at 2:48 pm on Wednesday July 10, 2013:
    Highrise is not really the correct adjective to describe a midrise building in Washington, DC.
  1. Judith Claire said at 2:50 pm on Wednesday July 10, 2013:
    Eric says, "derelict" neighborhood? Some folk need to get out more.
  1. wd said at 3:48 pm on Wednesday July 10, 2013:
    for what it's worth, and for those who haven't been in the neighborhood (SW Waterfront) lately, the photo shown is years old and certainly is not flattering to the buildings. Come check it out now. It looks much better after a tasteful rehab with new windows and the new skin on the neighboring building (formerly the EPA towers and now Sky View (I think?)).
  1. Cavan said at 3:59 pm on Wednesday July 10, 2013:
    I can't decide if this decision is disappointing or disgraceful. The city needs more housing and amenities, not remnants of an insane urban planning paradigm that destroyed what would be considered a treasured townhouse neighborhood today. Preserve Pei's signature work with the National Gallery East Building. Let his vernacular work that no one would care about it it wasn't designed by a famous architect to the past. The HPRB destroying the credibility of a valuable tool like historic preservation by using it as a proxy for NIMBYism is disgraceful.
  1. SW rules said at 6:43 pm on Wednesday July 10, 2013:
    WOW, not to be a part of this process but to "offer" an opinion take's well...you know. Shows just how uninformed people are, both of architecture and of the neighborhood, yet want to speak...you’ve obviously exceeded your knowledge area...Shush! This wasn't done in a vacuum; ANC = Voted Unanimously HPRB = Voted Unanimously
  1. tom said at 11:10 pm on Wednesday July 10, 2013:
    +100 on Cavan's post.
  1. z said at 2:39 am on Thursday July 11, 2013:
    oh honey, this wasn't done unknowingly to the property owners. They were a part of the process.
  1. Robert said at 6:23 am on Saturday July 13, 2013:
    1. A high rise building is anything over 4 stories so these would definitely fall into that category. 2. Floor to ceiling glass, unobstructed corner glass, good views...Isn't that what everyone in looking for? So how are these buildings so bad. They are a lot better than some of the faux classical building elsewhere in the city. 3. Whether you like it or not, this site was designed to have a lot of open space so to build three new buildings on all sides of the two originals would totally destroy the original intent. There are plenty of other sites in this city that can be redeveloped without sacrificing a quality modernist complex.
  1. Josh said at 4:33 pm on Monday December 23, 2013:
    I actually think these buildings look pretty rad: http://goo.gl/maps/5Axl5

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