Recommend applicant submit alternative schemes that incorporate additional planting and permeable surfaces in southeast corner of site. File new drawings, including dimensions and landscape plans, with concept application for review by the Commission when ready.
Dear Mr. Heininger:
In its meeting of 17 January, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the permit application for the driveway and parking area of your property at 2727 Q Street, NW, and adopted the Old Georgetown Board's recommendation requesting that further design alternatives be submitted. The Commission encouraged cooperation in working with the Board to develop a design that reduces the amount of pavement along Q Street.
The Commission staff is available should you require further assistance.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA
2727 Q Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
Enclosure: Old Georgetown Board recommendation
cc: Richard Arentz, Arentz Landscape Architects
Ralph Cunningham, Cunningham Quill Architects
OG 08-074 (HPA 08-115)
2727 Q Street, NW
(Square 1285, Lots 803, 804)
Site alterations: driveway, parking lot
Permit and Public Space Permit
REPORT: The scope of work for this residential project included the removal of historic additions, the construction of a new rear addition and front porch inspired by the original, and a landscape plan that incorporates various types of hardscape. The applicant seeks additional paving and retention of a broad sidewalk connecting to the neighbor's driveway such that three cars can turn around in the front yard without having to back out into the street.
Context: Nineteenth-century development in Georgetown Heights east of 28th Street was limited prior to the completion of a bridge across Rock Creek at Q Street in 1915; the "Buffalo Bridge" set the standard for well-designed bridges spanning the Rock Creek valley. Initially, only "Bellevue" (1798-1804) (renamed "Dumbarton House" in 1928 by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America) existed in this part of the heights. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, economic pressures caused the owners of the estates to subdivide their properties which allowed for new single-family development and apartment buildings. Accordingly, "Evermay" (ca. 1800) at 1623 28th Street, carved out three new lots in its front garden along Q Street, one of which is the property in question.
Property: 2727 Q Street, NW was designed in 1893 by native Washingtonian Snowden Ashford (1866-1927) who served as the city's first Municipal Architect and whose portfolio includes the expansion of Adolf Cluss' Eastern Market on Capitol Hill and numerous firehouses and schools. 2727 Q Street is significant as a rare example of residential work by Ashford and one of Washington's earliest manifestation of the Colonial Revival; "Twin Oaks," the first Colonial Revival structure built in the city (in the area now known as Cleveland Park), was completed in 1888.
A variety of small additions were added to the rear of 2727 Q Street by the original owner in the first decades of the twentieth century. The second owner purchased the property in 1961 and commissioned a major renovation which included removing the front porch and relocating the main entrance to the east side of the principal block; the curb cut and parking pad probably were created at this time. Thereafter, the area at the southeast corner of the lot was paved such that the hardscape joined that of the driveway at the western edge of 2723 Q Street that lead to its garage situated in the northwest corner of that property. At present, the north side of the 2700 block of Q Street incorporates four stately residences with four wide curb-cuts along approximately 180 feet of sidewalk.
Proposal: In May 2007, the applicant sought concept approval for alterations to the historic structure, a new rear addition (OG 07-139), and landscape plan (OG 07-141) with paved areas, all of which were proposed on concrete slabs, including a widened driveway, enlarged parking area, outdoor seating area, fountain terrace, and multiple circulation paths serving similar functions. The Board directed the applicant to maintain all of the existing mature trees on the site (some of which have been removed already) and to increase the amount of vegetation in the southeast quadrant of the property. In June, the landscape architect returned to the Board with a plan including the expanded parking court while maintaining the width of the existing driveway. The Board (and in turn the Commission) granted a general concept approval for the landscape plan and again directed the applicant to increase the amount of vegetation in the southeast quadrant of the property in order to address its concern about the excessive amount of hardscape at this property; the Board members also asked to be presented with alternatives, particularly regarding the configuration of the driveway and parking pad and to increase the permeable surfaces at the site.
In October, the applicant returned to the Board with permit plans (OG 07-276) for a scheme identical to the concept plans presented in June; thereafter, the driveway, parking pad, and lighting in these areas were omitted from the application and the partial project was forwarded to the Commission and approved as part of the 18 October 2007 Georgetown Appendix.
At its 3 January 2008 meeting, the Board reviewed permit application OG 08-074 for the driveway and parking court with plans that were identical to those denied by the Board in October and depicted in the concept drawings associated with the June application. Having its repeated requests for alternatives with more vegetation and permeability unaddressed, the Old Georgetown Board submits to the Commission the following: