Greater Greater Washington

Tonight's and tomorrow's meetings

[Autoposted while I'm in France]


17th Street. Photo by bankbryan on Flickr.

Even more interesting meetings are coming up. Tonight:

17th Street Streetscape: What is DDOT planning 17th Street in Dupont? Is it too late to fix any failings in the plan? 6 pm at Foundry United Methodist Church, 1500 16th St NW.

Tomorrow:

Historic Preservation Review Board: At 10 am tomorrow, HPRB may consider concept plans for the Hilton. Or, they may postpone it until October, which both ANC 1C (Adams Morgan) and 2B (Dupont) have requested. They'll also review the proposed renovations of 1433 T with its alleged violations of tenants' rights, but since HPRB can't consider those factors in its decisionmaking, look for a meeting where Tersh Boasberg repeatedly cuts off members of the public who try to appeal to Commissioners on non-historic criteria. You can watch the meeting here.

Public space hearing on 10th and Maryland Shell: This is the first of two opportunities to stop the proposed Shell in Northeast Capitol Hill. 10 am at 941 North Capitol Street, 7th Floor.

National Capital Framework Plan: NCPC is collecting more public comment on their Framework Plan. BeyondDC has great coverage of the plan's highlights and weaknesses. 5-7 pm Thursday at 401 9th St NW, North Lobby, Suite 500.

Zoning review: Height: Parking was controversial, but sparks will fly again tomorrow evening as the Zoning Commission considers proposed new height regulations. It's wonky and arcane, but how DC interprets the Height Act (what is a "business street"? Can a building get its allowable height from one street but measure its starting point from another?) has stirred much debate in zoning circles. 6:30-8:30 pm tomorrow at 441 4th St NW, Suite 220-South or watch it live here.

David Alpert is the founder and editor-in-chief of Greater Greater Washington. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He now lives with his wife and daughter in Dupont Circle. 

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DDOT appears to be the new tree cutter in town. I don't know what they are planning for 17th street (your paragraph was tantalizingly incomplete), but elsewhere in the city, the "canopy" that makes Washington the city of trees is coming down.

by Fred on Sep 24, 2008 9:47 pm • linkreport

Beyond DC's ideas are quite good, but I'd like to add a few comments about the plan and his commentary.

-The plan seems to create nearly identical, boring, vaguely classical spaces that lack a perceivable identity. While development would spice it up, DC doesn't need any more Malls. BDC's idea for a pedestrian boulevard to the Kennedy Center in density is a good alternative, for example. I would add that the Forrestal Building should be radically renovated instead. The archway as it is creates a gateway that, with improved civic design, would offer a inspiring feeling of procession to the Smithsonian while bounding a secondary district. Reallyt's a curtainwall building; it should be stripped, gutted, and rearticulated with urbane and attractive design.

- His point about visual landmarks for the neighborhoods outside of the center is good. Towers especially are great navigational aids and neighborhood markers. For example it would be fantastic to have some other tall monument at east capitol/RFK or any of the new circles to bring distant places into the greater scheme of the city. For example, the Washington Monument, Air Force Memorial, Old Post Office tower, and the National Cathedral do this well already. Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spire_of_Dublin

-I really want to take issue with BDC's Modernism hating. There are modernist buildings that work and work well, formalist duck or not. Unfortunately the ones in DC almost never do and are boring and ugly, to boot. Even if you don't like the way they look (I actually do), the HUD and L'Enfant plaza buildings are interesting works by masters. They could be cleverly refitted in ways that respect the buildings but also correct Pei and Breuer's ideological mistakes. For example, it seems to me that most of the problem there is that people have no reason to go there in the first place, so add mixed uses. Keep only those two - the only ones that really meet historic criteria - and the area could be quite vibrant with new development. Also, stick an outdoor market in the center to sell tourist schlock.

-Some part should contain a gateway bus terminal. Solves the comical bus crisis and puts that mode of transit on par with the iconic entrances to DC at Dulles, National, and Union Station.

by The King of Spain on Sep 25, 2008 2:26 am • linkreport

"DC doesn't need any more Malls."

This absolutely wrong statement is just an apology for keeping DC divided by the Red Line corridor and keeping selfish Catholic University isolated from the neighborhoods to the east.

It is also an apology for the selfishness of the Roman Catholic Church and their minions in the intellectual black hole of Major League Baseball in squandering a priceless opportunity for the sake of a few more buildings for city tax greed.

http://wwwsouthcapitolstreet.blogspot.com/2007/12/abortion-of-south-capitol-mall-south.html

http://wwwsouthcapitolstreet.blogspot.com/2007/12/south-capitolfrederick-douglass-mall.html

http://wwwsouthcapitolstreet.blogspot.com/2006/07/physical-reality-only-structure-along_22.html

by Douglas Willinger on Sep 25, 2008 9:51 am • linkreport

Didn't say it didn't need more parks, just not gigantic, unprogrammed open spaces with museums around it.

But I do get my orders straight from the Black Pope.

by The King of Spain on Sep 25, 2008 5:53 pm • linkreport

Come to think of it those buildings of the Catholic University would make excellent museums after the mass epiphany, right next to the Grand Arc!

Kolvenbach must have been smoking some good s++t to think that no one would notice the subversion of the Extending the Legacy planning. I wonder where "Extending the Legacy" C. Fred Kleinknecht was in his deliberations with the Vatican. Perhaps if he had stood up to the Vatican he would not look so disappointed in that video graphic?

http://wwwsouthcapitolstreet.blogspot.com/2008/09/appearances-of-power-ruminations.html

http://continuingcounterreformation.blogspot.com/search/label/Black%20Pope

by Douglas Willinger on Sep 25, 2008 6:14 pm • linkreport

A Federal gov. designer I know tells me he is starting on a major renovation of the Forestall building interior to be done in 2010 and it is slated for demo in 2018.I also just read they only recently installed solar panels on the roof.

Can these odd assortment of facts all be true??

I believe along with a previous writer. The modernist buildings can be improved tremendously. respecting their design intent but correcting their autistic personalities By improving their relationship to the city, street and pedestrians. Opening up the first floors to retail allowing public activities in the blank sidewalks and plazas are not hard to do and can be profitable.

by Walter Gagliano on Nov 18, 2008 10:57 pm • linkreport

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