Hine Development: Pro and Con – Request for Feedback to Improve the Project

Hine Development: Pro and Con

Request for Feedback to Improve the Project

by Larry Janezich

Following is a list of standards the Historic Preservation Office (HPO) applies to new construction in a historic district to determine if it is compatible with the character of the neighborhood.

Setback

Orientation

Scale

Proportion

Rhythm

Massing

Height

Materials

Color

Roof Shape

Details and ornamentation

Landscape Features

According to HPO, “Compatibility does not mean exactly duplicating the existing buildings or environment.”  And, “Perhaps the best way to think about a compatible new building is that it should be a good neighbor, enhancing the character of the district and respecting the context, rather than an exact clone.”

More on each of these categories can be found by following this link:

http://planning.dc.gov/DC/Planning/Historic+Preservation/Maps+and+Information/Policies+and+Procedures/Design+Guidelines (Scroll down to New Construction in a Historic District)

EMMCA is preparing a statement on the Hine project for presentation to ANC6b and the Historic Preservation Board.  emmcablog.org is requesting feedback from the broader Capitol Hill community in comments to this posting regarding the pros and cons of the Hine development.

A recent posting on the blog Greater Greater Washington by Ryan Velasco – largely in support of the Hine project it – elicited a number of comments, some of which apply to HPO’s  listed criteria.  http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/9702/hine-project-is-opportunity-too-great-to-pass-up/

To view the full PowerPoint presentation by Stanton-Eastbanc, visit http://hineschool.com/sites/default/files/2011-03-02%20%20Community%20Presentation.pdf.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Hine Development: Pro and Con – Request for Feedback to Improve the Project

  1. I hear that Stanton/Eastbanc will present a new proposal with changes. When will that new proposal be unveiled? If not until Tuesday, April 5, at the Capitol Hill Restoration Society public meeting at the Maury School, how can we make sensible comments about your poll this week? Please advise if the changed/updated proposal will be available earlier.

  2. All of the proposals, as well as suggested remedies, are provisional in nature and will be for some time. That’s why – in my opinion – the best assurance the community can receive is appointment of a consulting historical architect that shares its vision.

    Larry Janezich

  3. Monica L.

    A couple notes from our household, as you gather feedback, Larry (and we appreciate you doing so):
    – The courtyard seems great. That block is huge and having a cut through seems really important to make it approachable, walkable. I would imagine that is in line with historic standard.
    – The windows and balconies are great. “Eyes on the street” are what keep a neighborhood safe. And vibrant.
    – The plain rooftop of the East building, facing Pennsylvania, seems a little dull or flat (literally.) If they’re doing a neat green roof or something creative that I’m not aware of, maybe it’s better than it looks… but it seems like that could be made more appropriate and beautiful.

  4. Marika

    The current design is too massive and monolithic; the small “cut away” and enlarged alley are very small concessions to public space. The building should be more open to the neighborhood, instead of turning all the green space inward and building a huge “wall” around it, which is essentially what this project does with its interior courtyard. More rhythm and variation in this very large building would break up the facades in a more interesting way, both on 7th and 8th street, perhaps incorporating pitched roof, mansard roof and green roof areas. I am concerned that if built as planned, this building will become a visual obstacle to Eastern Market rather than an inviting street entry to a beloved neighborhood asset. It overbuilds the lot and would suffocates the weekend market. Remember the potential scale is huge – the building is slated to be taller than the current structure AND an entire city block long.

    This is a prime location and an real opportunity for a developer to create a signature piece. It would be a missed opportunity to put up a massive Ballston-style building, without any true distinction.

  5. david

    The roof was original pitched as being a green roof with public access. This should be preserved in the final design. I’m afraid the courtyard will not be used unless an open air cafe or restaurant it allowed to use it. So space that opens up to it should allow for such a business.

  6. Setback: There shouldn’t be one. Almost no buildings in Capitol Hill are setback from the property line, and this shouldn’t be an exception. The zero-setback line does a great job of framing the street and public space.

    Orientation: The proposed orientation is fine. Again, Capitol Hill has historically had a high lot coverage percentage and zero-setback lots, therefore all new buildings should be built right to the property line and occupy a substantial portion of the lot.

    Scale: It could be bigger. Density is a good thing for a city, particularly in a place like this – directly on top of a Metro station and in the midst of a neighborhood commercial district. It certainly shouldn’t be smaller. The proposed heights are completely consistent with previous buildings on the site and other structures on the Hill.

    Proportion: The taller buildings are oriented to the wider street frontages, as is appropriate – those along Pennsylvania and the Eastern Market Plaza.

    Rhythm: The proposed structure’s residential facades do a good job of mimicking the rhythm of the residential rowhouses.

    Massing: Again, the massing is completely appropriate for the size of the site and its context.

    Height: Again, the height and massing is completely appropriate for the size of the site and its context.

    Materials:
    Color:
    Roof Shape:
    Details and ornamentation:
    Landscape Features:

    I haven’t seen anything from the proposal about materials or any other details yet, thus I cannot comment.