*HPA Number: 1983-187
*Case Name: 1627 Eye Street, N.W.
*Location of Property: 1627 Eye Street, N.W. (the “Army-Navy Club”)
*Date of Decision: 4/22/1983
*Type of Case/Type of Permit Sought: Demolition of an existing structure
*Disposition: Demolition permit issued.
*Summary of Decision:*
Farragut Corporation (“Applicant”), contract purchaser for the Army-Navy Club building (a locally designated landmark), sought to demolish all portions of the of the Army-Navy Club (“Club”) building except the original building facades located on Eye and 17th Streets. The Mayor’s Agent concluded that the proposed demolition was “consistent with the purposes of the Act” and therefore necessary in the public interest.
*Mayor’s Agent – Procedural:*
Applicant requested a hearing before the Mayor’s Agent along with a waiver of the 30-day notice requirement (stated as being required under paragraph 3.2 of the Rules of Procedure), offering the fact that Applicant’s option to purchase the property would expire prior to expiration of the 30-day notice period as “good cause” for such waiver. Citing no opposition by the affected Advisory Neighborhood Commission and abutting property owners, the Mayor’s Agent granted the waiver request.
*Consistent with the Purposes of the Act: *
The Applicant proposed to retain and repair the original facades of the building located on Eye and 17th Streets, N.W., and to construct new facilities on the site that would “allow the Club to remain on its historic site, provide needed new facilities to allow for increasing its membership and to provide for office development of the presently under utilized zoning envelope for the C-4 zone in which it is located.” The Mayor’s Agent found that Applicant’s proposal was consistent with the purposes of the Act in that it: (1) safeguarded the aesthetic heritage embodied in the landmark by virtue of repairing and retaining the original facades (citing Section 2(a)(2) of the Act); (2) would protect and enhance the landmark and the economic adaptive reuse of a property in decline and “effectuate the continued presence of the historic Army-Navy Club functions on the site” (citing Sections 2(a)(4) and 2(a)(5) of the Act). The Mayor’s Agent agreed with Applicant’s architectural expert, finding that the portions of the building proposed to be demolished were incompatible past additions which “detracted from the existing landmark quality.”
The Mayor’s Agent found that retention of the ornamental facades of the building was sufficient as one component justifying being consistent with the purposes of the Act.