916 G St., NW, Washington DC
Mather Studios was the first downtown conversion of an office building into housing in the history of the District of Columbia, according to its architects at Cunningham | Quill. The Mather Building, located in the Downtown Historic District, was built as an office building in 1917 by Alonzo Mather, then converted to academic use by the University of the District of Columbia in 1967, and abandoned in 1989 until its revival in 2001 as a condo residence. The gothic revival terra cotta facade was restored to its original condition, with large interior units sectioned off that have appropriately minimalist features like concrete floors, exposed ducts, industrially sized windows, and a new rooftop penthouse added. A front desk and bike lock room provide amenities, but there is very limited parking in the building, not much of a problem with parking garages around. The building conversion into a mixed-income project provides 12 affordable housing spaces for artists on the 2nd and 3rd floors, as well as 38 market-rate condominiums. The District began the conversion process when it selected the Cultural Development Corporation, PN Hoffman, and Gilford Corp. to redevelop the dilapidated office building. Gilford also served as the general contractor. The project required an exception to the District of Columbia Height Act.
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