Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chinese Ready to Take Out 2300 Conn. Ave

The embassy of the People's Republic of China received an OK last week from the District's Historic Preservation Review Board to finally demolish its aging residential and office building for embassy staff at 2300 Connecticut Avenue.

As part of its weekly reviews of raze permits, the HPRB said Jan. 20 that the 200,000 square foot, 8-story brick building was clear for demolition.

The building, formerly the 1940's-era Windsor Park Hotel, was purchased in the early 1970's just as diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the PRC began warming after President Richard Nixon's historic visit in February 1972.

Esocoff & Associates, which has also designed 400 Mass. Ave and the Dumont, is the architect for the new embassy staff residential building, (pictured, above) which is expected to be completed in 2014.

The new Chinese embassy (pictured, left), designed by famed architect I.M. Pei, moved to its new location at Van Ness Street and International Drive in April 2009.

Clark Construction Group LLC of Bethesda is listed as the contractor for the demolition, according to the permit. The construction of the Chinese embassy using imported labor in 2008 led to some grumbling among the building trades about not using American hard-hats, though embassy construction is usually performed by the resident country's workers for security and diplomatic reasons.

Washington D.C. real estate redevelopment news.


Anonymous said...

Will the Chinese Embassy continue to use the new residence for its staff, or will it be available to the general public for leasing? I don't believe this was made clear in the post.

Anonymous said...

Leasing to general public? Where will their spies sleep?

Anonymous said...

can a brother get some decoration around here!

Anonymous said...

It actually looks like an immense improvement!!

Anonymous said...

2 million square feet?! That would make it larger than all but a handful of buildings in D.C. No way. Maybe 250,000 sf. Also I'm guessing that "novel," as a description of I.M. Pei, was meant to be "noted." What is this, autocorrect on iPhone? Sadly these errors undermine the credibility of the article.

The proposed new building looks good--it's a great site for Esocoff's trademark curves, plays off the Dresden (foreground of image at left) beautifully.

Anonymous said...

The current staff residence (red brick portion) is ugly anyway. It seems as though they'll be saving the older portion. As far as the new embassy, has it developed problems typical of most I.M. Pei buildings?

Anonymous said...

When will demolition start!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the words "Chinese" and "take out" in the title of this article were not meant to be sarcastic or ironic at all.


Anonymous said...

Of course, HPO signoff is only one part of the raze permit process. A raze permit has not been issued by DCRA. See:
for process.
for applications

Anonymous said...

Love it. It'll be a vast improvement. Thanks for the decoration!

Anonymous said...

"It seems as though they'll be saving the older portion."

If you are talking about the building to the right (closer to the bridge/Rock Creek), only two sides of the facade will be saved with a new building built behind it. Our firm was asked to do some consulting on preserving and stabilizing the facade during construction over the summer. (Note that I have not been involved with the project since, so plans may have changed).

Anonymous said...

Raze permit - R1200027 accepted by DCRA in November 2011 - for a government agency they keep us in the dark (lack of record updates),a separate issue which must be addressed!

Hope the locals receive adequate notice before work commences - parking is a problem now,and will only be a nightmare when the crews invade!

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