Three residential projects will rise up 7 stories along the 14th Street Corridor between R and U Streets NW in the next two years, but Level 2 Development's project sited for Wallach Place and 14th (1905-1917 14th Street) won't be one of them - at least not yet. The project's architect, Eric Colbert & Associates, went up against the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) - and up against two handfuls of Wallach Place residents - last week at the HPRB's monthly meeting, only to be unanimously denied design approval.
As first reported by U Street Dirt, the HPRB was openly critical of the design and urged Colbert to rethink the building's rhythm, scale and greater context in the U Street Historic District.
The Colbert design presented was a 7-story apartment building, with an approximately 16,000 s.f. site footprint (150' wide x 106' deep). Although materials alternated between brick and metal "to break the building down into smaller pieces" with for 5-story projecting bays along 14th Street, the Board verbalized dissatisfaction with the look and feel, saying it wasn't 14th Street appropriate and ultimately didn't have "that Colbert magic" (apparently preferring the Floridian.)
It seems inevitable that the one-story "bunker" - officially "The Edna Frazier Cromwell Shopping Center" - currently lying low at the site, will not escape demolition. Built in 1986, the center was the first privately financed real estate development on 14th Street after the destruction of the 1968 riots. However, the structure has widely been regarded by the immediate community as an "eyesore." Previously on site was a 5-story brick building (demolished in 1970).
Washington D.C. real estate development news