The un-urban Marriott Wardman Park
Woodley Park sits right atop a fault line between walkable urbanism and the dense sprawl-style architecture you get when architects and developers simply transplant suburban forms onto smaller city lots, like the Hilton in Dupont. Despite having a Metro station, most of the larger apartment towers follow the Le Corbusier-style form of large islands in a sea of parking set far back from the street. And the neighborhood contains several large hotels, all built mid-century and all creating a pedestrian-unfriendly experience with huge driveways and parking lots between them and the neighborhood.
Congrats to capitolcub who correctly guessed the two photos I posted last week.
On the left is a somewhat urban street, with some nice houses whose front porches make it pleasant to walk along. It's the north side of Woodley Road in Woodley Park. But across the street, it looks entirely different. Enormous driveways traverse a giant expanse of empty lawn which contains an underground parking garage. The Marriott Wardman Park is set far back from the street, with a classic car-circle entrance that's not inviting to pedestrians, like at the Hilton.
The other end of the Marriott, closer to the Metro, is no better. A driveway runs right from the Metro to the hotel, but it's very narrow (to accommodate a lot of parking next to it) and is the hotel's main loading access. As a result, it has only a very small sidewalk onto which crowds of people, well, crowd, while only the occasional truck uses the rest of the space. And the driveway leads to, you got it, another car circle.replaced an above-ground garage, demolished to make way for a condo building that does, indeed, fit in reasonably well with the architecture of the neighborhood. The developer plans for trees and a small park on the lawn. But it's still a suburban building in an urban setting.
It doesn't face the street but instead looks sideways. The side closest to the Metro has a big circular oval driveway and a small surface parking lot. When future residents want to walk from their building to the stores on Connecticut or the Metro, they'll have to cross the parking lot as well as the hotel's two driveways. And whatever goes in the front lawn is isolated from the street. Since the hotel just built a big underground garage, why not just add the condo's parking (of which they're probably building too much) to that same garage with the same entrances as the neighborhood association wanted? Or use the existing driveway to Calvert Street?
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