Thursday, August 26, 2010

Argos Rescues Firehouse, Brightens HPRB's Day

The D.C. Preservation League, which annually issues a list of the District's most endangered properties in hopes of scaring developers into action, and preservationists into sign-painting and check-writing, has recently issued its new list for the year. This year the Preservation Leauge has focused it's 2010-attention on the preservation and renovation of the District's neglected firehouses. A special emphasis was placed on pre-WWII firehouses and police stations. Thankfully, two years ago Argos hammered out a deal with the District to redevelop two foresaken buildings: Firehouse No. 10 at 1341 Maryland Avenue, NE and Police Precinct No. 9 Station at 525 9th Street, NE. Developers refer to the two renovations as the Capitol Hill Condominiums, "The Station" and "The Engine House" respectively. In 2008 the Historic Preservation Review Board designate Engine House No. 10 as a Historic Landmark. While the 115-year history of public use of the firehouse will be sacrificed for the purpose of private residences, the character of both buildings, and their attractive, storied facades will be maintained for the enjoyment of passers by and history-lovers alike.

Designed by architect and firehouse specialist Leon Emile Dessez (1858-1919), erected in 1894, and completed in 1895, HPRB claimed in 2008 that the structure "is probably the best and most characteristic example of a Victorian-era firehouse still owned by the District." Sorg Architects has tackled the challenge of retrofitting the building with two market rate condos and two smaller affordable units. The former police station on 9th Street will be an almost identical project, with just enough room for an additional condo. The footprint of both the Engine House and the Station will be strictly maintained, with both facades to be restored with masonry refurbishment, various touch-ups, and only the slightest of noticeable augmentations. Windows and doors will be replaced, fading paint of old will be stripped away, and the addition of a few small second floor awnings will ready the building for residents. The interiors on the other hand will be completely gutted and overhauled - the roof, walls, flooring, HVAC, plumbing, electricity, and the works will all be replaced.

An unusual occurrence in the development world, construction on both projects began exactly on time, breaking ground two months ago as originally promised. Work is now chugging along with completion of each building expected in April of next year.

Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News


Anonymous said...

You mean the D.C. Preservation League, right?

IMGoph on Sep 1, 2010, 8:33:00 PM said...

funny link situation at the top there. your map doesn't link to anything, and the first photo links to a map.

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