OG 21-281

HPA number
HPA 21-485

3300 Whitehaven Street, NW
Washington, DC
United States

D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
New seven-story residential building
Review Type


Dear Mr. Carr:

In its public meeting of 17 March conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the proposed concept design for a new residential building at 3300 Whitehaven Street, NW (case number OG 21-281). The Commission approved the concept submission, adopting the report of the Old Georgetown Board with the following additional guidance for the development of the design.

The Commission members expressed strong support for the new building’s general configuration, massing, design character, and landscape, as well as for the intention to improve the condition of and access to Dumbarton Oaks Park immediately to the east. However, they raised concern regarding the building’s visual impact on this federal parkland, identifying several elements of the design that would benefit from refinement. Specifically, they advised that the imposition of the large site walls on the park should be mitigated with the addition of screening plantings, and they encouraged the property owners to take an active role in maintaining the plantings. For the building, they found the design of massing A facing Whitehaven Street to be the most successful of the four different volumes, and they commented that the appearance of massing C along the park edge should achieve a similarly high level of architectural quality. They therefore amended the recommendation of the Old Georgetown Board by requesting the development of an option for massing C that is informed by the architectural and material character of massing A.

The Commission and the Old Georgetown Board look forward to further review of this project in the design development phase. Please coordinate the next submission with the staff, which is available to assist you.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Jonathan Carr, Senior Vice President, Development
Grosvenor Americas
1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 450
Washington, DC 20006

cc: Guilherme A.M. Almeida, Hickok Cole
Trini Rodriguez, ParkerRodriguez
Jonathan Mellon, Goulston & Storrs

Encl.: Report of the Old Georgetown Board, 17 March 2022


OG 21-281 (HPA 21-485)
3300 Whitehaven Street, NW
(Square 1299, Lot 1024)
Construction of new seven-story residential building
(Reviewed in concept as OG 21-281: Sep 2021, Dec 2021, Feb 2022)

REPORT: The applicant, Grosvenor Group, proposes to redevelop the subject property, located at the northern edge of the Old Georgetown Historic District. The site contains a five-story office building that was constructed in 1968 and designed by Wendell B. Hallett, which the applicant would demolish, keeping only the existing below-grade parking structure. The new building will have four distinct volumes: the tallest at the center of the composition (identified as massing B in the applicant’s presentation); a lower bar along Whitehaven Street, NW (massing A); a three-piece volume that steps down along the edge of the adjacent parkland (massing C); and a narrow bar (massing D) connecting to the British School, a four-story masonry building on the site that is also owned by the applicant. Significant portions of the new construction will be visible from Dumbarton Oaks Park, a significant historic landscape administered by the National Park Service since 1940.

At the first concept review in September 2021, the Old Georgetown Board (OGB) found the proposed demolition acceptable, as the building falls outside of the period of significance for the historic district (the period of significance is generally found to be anything built before 1950, the year the historic district was established). Overall, the OGB was supportive of the height, massing, and general architectural character of the proposed building. At its meeting on 3 March 2022, the OGB recommended approval of the concept design and requested the applicant return at the design development phase with a revised concept application that addresses its comments, as summarized below.

The OGB generally supported the applicant’s preferred scenarios as presented, with the exception of the detailing of the base of massing A as viewed from Dumbarton Oaks Park. In this location, the OGB recommended the stone base be carried across the entire base of the building at a consistent elevation. The OGB also questioned the texture of the proposed stone base, which is rendered as an ashlar or cut stone; the board members suggested that the base be field stone, relating to a concept presented at an earlier review, where the building’s base would be a rougher stone, rising out of the ground to support the building above and relating to the nearby naturalistic landscape of Dumbarton Oaks Park.

The most significant issue in the review of this project has been the design of the penthouse, which spans across several of the conceptually differentiated parts of the complex, and which will house both occupiable and mechanical areas. The applicant has proposed that the entire penthouse be clad with a buff-colored cladding, corresponding to the largest central volume, or massing B; staff notes that this approach may reduce the perceived height and mass of the building. However, some OGB members have expressed a preference that the penthouse area over massing A be articulated in red brick to differentiate it from the larger volume of massing B. In its approval action, the OGB asked the applicant to study the penthouse design further and to include a scenario where the mechanical equipment areas
of the penthouse are sunk down into the building and the facade redesigned to align with the fenestration below; this alternative would be submitted as part of a revised submission prior to permit review.

The applicant team includes a landscape architect who has developed conceptual designs for the courtyard space between the buildings, which the OGB generally supported as presented. However, the OGB requested the applicant develop further the landscape design for its review, particularly on the side fronting Dumbarton Oaks Park. It is staff’s understanding that some of the intended landscape improvements will fall outside of the subject property boundaries and be on the adjacent parkland.


NO OBJECTION to concept design for the demolition of a five-story masonry building to construct a new seven-story residential building, per supplemental drawings received 16 February 2022. File design development submission at DCRA with detailed and dimensioned drawings for review by the CFA.