Friday, July 18, 2014

Result of the meeting to review the use of horizontal clapboard vs stucco for 9th and N

Sent this to HPO:

First, the conclusion was to use the Stucco originally specified if possible but a compromise was agreed to below by the community present last night.

(1) The CAS Riegler suggested compromise to use stucco on the floors 5 and 6 and the horizontal clapboard appearing material (that they have installed on parts of the building) was rejected by all. CAS Riegler said that they would be presenting this option to you.  This will leave far too much building area using the clapboard material visible from the alley.  The solid wall facing south is particularly unattractive and noted by all (the wall to the south away from 9th). One only need stand at that point to see the view north of this new building and the view south of the original brick rear facades along M Street to know how wrong this approach will be and what a negative legacy of deciding on this choice.

(2) CAS Riegler characterized an HPO staff suggested option of alternating vertically between the stucco material and the horizontal clapboard material, we were told this was to mimic kind of a townhouse width/spacing.  No one found that to be particularly compelling - certainly such an alternating vertical approach was used say on 910 M street but the building was designed for this and the spacing there makes sense.   In this case the spacing of the windows, etc., was not designed for this and we just don't see that as a viable alternative.  CAS Riegler said they would come back and present this option to you.  In fairness this option is more difficult to visualize and perhaps once a rendering is made it might be more compelling.

(3) The option that everyone present agreed with was based on the first option above however we want stucco on floors 4, 5 and 6.  The floor 5 and 6 approach works from a perspective of 9th and N Streets, no one can see the horizontal clapboards (I think).  However stopping at the 5th floor falls apart when standing in several locations along Blagden Alley either the north south alley or in the central area near rogue 24 where the clapboard are currently quite prominent.  If you take the stucco down to the 4th floor and only use the horizontal clapboards for floors 1, 2, and 3 then the material is minimally visible (the only place you can see it is through a 4 foot opening on the southwest corner of the property and from Frank Asher's back yard the first townhouse West of the Project on N Street). 

All felt this was a reasonable compromise.  CAS Riegler said they would prepare drawings of all 3 options including the one we recommend for your next meeting.  Please keep us posted and we request that we be engaged should HPO conclude some other path then the one we are recommending. A number of neighbors would also like to see these new rendering when CAS Riegler produces them.  I will ask them to send that to us electronically at the minimum.

Note that we do not care what they use in the interior courtyard unless it is visible from the alley or the street(which could be an issue at the top 2 floors towards the south side of the interior courtyard as the building to the south is only 3 stories high). At present the interior courtyard is almost completely finished using the horizontal clapboard material and painted grey.

(note I held this meeting as the President of the Blagden Alley Naylor Court Association although this is also my SMD as ANC2F06)

PS there was some discussion of stucco vs a cement panel which has grid lines. I am not sure how the later is any better (as a commercial type material) than the horizontal clapboards for the view from within Blagden Alley where the material is not appropriate.  We would appreciate some clarification on the use of this material.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Update for Thursday nights BANCA meeting

Update:  HPO and CAS Riegler met today to discuss a resolution of the wood siding vs stucco issue at 9th and N.  CAS Riegler is on the hook to formally respond to HPO with updated plans that reflect the HPO/CAS Riegler discussion.  

Therefore the nature of the BANCA meeting has changed.  CAS Riegler will walk us around the building showing the different vista's and then present the updated plan that HPO has agreed in principle to approve (subject to seeing the formal submittal from CAS Riegler).  Our role is to review these plans and then provide HPO with any feedback - agree, disagree or recommend some motifications.  HPO has agreed to consider any neighborhood input before making the final agreement with CAS Riegler.  Following that approval CAS Riegler will make any changes required by HPO.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blagden Alley Naylor Court Association Meeting Thursday night

The meeting will be at 7PM on Thursday night July 17.

The location will be the corner of 9th and N Street, yes we will just meet on the corner by Reformation Fitness.

This meeting's sole focus will be the wood appearance siding that CAS Riegler has installed on the sides and rear of the new construction building "The Colonel."

BANCA and the CDC/ANC worked pretty hard on the facade for this building as it transitions from the Historic parts of the neighborhood and then interfaces with the convention center across the street.  I believe we ended up with a good result for the 9th and N Street facades.  That said the permits and historic review for this building specified a stucco finish on the sides and rear, given it is a wood frame construction above the ground floor.  I raised this issue with the Historic Preservation Office as clearly they did not approve the wood appearance siding material.  HPO can go to the Office of Administrative Hearing and attempt to have a stop work order issued and force the contractor to comply but HPO says that OAH will not process these cases without an attempt at mediation.  So this meeting is the communities opportunity to review the current materials, examine options and recommend an approach to CAS Riegler and HPO.

We will start at the corner of 9th and N, then go inside the buildings courtyard to see the siding material in its painted condition (this area is not visible from the street or alley) then walk around inside to the Blagden Alley view.  CAS Riegler will have some renderings and we'll take it from there.  I have no preconceived compromise other than I have told him that universally no one in the neighborhood likes this siding style finish.  Weather should be good so I believe a meeting outside will be fine.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Street closure on Wednesday night 6:45PM to 1 AM see below

Please note that the square around the Carnegie Library will be closed to traffic from 6:45PM to 1AM on Wednesday night 16 July.

Events DC | Conventions & Meetings
Traffic Alert
July 10, 2014
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center will host Microsoft’s 2014 Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) over the official dates of July 13-17, 2014.  Total attendance is projected at 15,800.   Additional details about the event are included in the attached press release.
Daily WPC activity hours are as follows:  
Sunday, July 13
8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Monday, July 14
7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday, July 15
7:30 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday, July 16
7:30 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday, July 17
8:00 am –11:00 am
Monday, July 14 and Wednesday, July 16 (11:30 am)
Vision Keynotes will take place at the Verizon Center. Attendance for the keynotes is projected at 10,000. At the conclusion of the keynotes (approximately 11:30 am), the attendees will move en masse to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Arrangements have been made through the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to provide Traffic Control Officers (TCOs) at key 7thand 9th Street NW intersections between the Verizon Center and Convention Center.
Wednesday, July 16 (6:45 pm – 1:00 am):
Temporary Road Closure
WPC has arranged, with the District of Columbia, to temporarily close the 700-800 blocks of K Street NW (between 7th and 9th Streets) to motorists and pedestrians for the WPC Celebration.  This special event, for registered WPC attendees, will encompass the grounds of Carnegie Library, the 700-800 blocks of K Street NW and Techworld Plaza. The hours of the closure are from 6:45 pm – 1:00 am. Microsoft has submitted  a traffic control plan to the District which includes the hiring of a reimbursable detail from MPDSOD and the hiring of DDOT TCOs to staff their traffic control plan. In the event of inclement weather, the celebration may be moved inside the Convention Center.
Shuttle Service
Throughout the WPC event, morning and afternoon shuttle service will be provided on both sides of the 700 – 800 blocks of L Street NW (between 7th and 9th Streets) and outside of the Convention Center on the east side of the 1000 block of 9th Street NW (between L Street and Mount Vernon Place) .
Shuttle hours are as follows:
Date / Date
Hours / Details
Sunday, July 13th
11:00 am – 7:00 pm Shuttles from Dulles Airport and Reagan National Airport
Monday, July 14th
Service from various hotels to the Verizon Center.
***Coaches may stage at the Convention Center in the event of inclement weather.
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Tuesday, July 15th
7:00 am – 9:00 am
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Wednesday, July 16th
7:00 am – 9:00 am Service from various hotels to the Verizon Center
***Coaches may stage at the Convention Center in the event of inclement weather.
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
5:45 pm – 6:30 pm Sales Ach Shuttle
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm Celebration Shuttle
Thursday, July 17th
7:30 am – 9:00 am
11:00 am – 12:00 pm closing shuttles
Special Notes                                   
–      The L Street crosswalk will be staffed by Events DC transportation personnel and officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
–      You may anticipate an enormous demand for taxis and much greater than usual pedestrian and vehicular traffic outside of/near the Convention Center.
–      The taxi stand on Mount Vernon Place will be staffed by Events DC transportation personnel and MPD officers.
We appreciate your patience and understanding.  Please join us in welcoming The Microsoft World Partners Conference to our community.