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.

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