*HPA Number: 1983-276
*Case Name: 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
*Location of Property: 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
*Date of Decision: 10/30/1984
*Type of Case/Type of Permit Sought: Demolition
*Disposition: Demolition permit issued
*Summary of Decision:*
Penn Associates (“Applicant”) sought permits to raze all but the façades of 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. (a designated landmark of the National Capital) in order to construct a retail/office use building. (Applicant’s proposal also specified that it would reconstruct approximately 50% of the original building details following demolition.) The Mayor’s Agent concluded that the Applicant’s plan was “consistent with purposes of the Act” because it would result in the preservation and enhancement of an historic landmark. Additionally, the Mayor’s Agent found that the Applicant’s proposal would “retain and enhance the aesthetic appearance” and that “demolition is a viable way in which to effectuate adaptive reuse of the structure and allow the continued use of the building on this site.”
*Consistent with the Purposes of the Act:*
Citing the evidence offered by Applicant, and making a global reference to consistent with the purposes of the Act as defined in Sections 2(a)(1), 2(a)(4), 2(a)(5), 2(b)(2)(a), and 2(b)(2)(b) to support his decision, the Mayor’s Agent concluded that project was consistent with purposes of the Act because: (1) the Applicant would preserve the “architecturally significant portions of the building, the front exterior;” (2) the office and retail use proposal was a viable way to “effectuate adaptive reuse” of the structure and allow the continued use of the building and site (the structure was at the time boarded up and not in use) – such use was also found to be “compatible with the original building;” and (3) the Mayor’s Agent found that it was impossible to retain the entire building and comply with D.C.’s zoning regulations, which in his view, justified the demolition.
The Mayor’s Agent concluded as a matter of law that the Applicant’s proposal to preserve the facades was consistent with the purposes of the Act because they were “the architecturally significant portions of the building.”