HPA No. 2003-004; 2003-008 (In re. Capitol Park Apartments)
- HPA Number: 2003-004; 2003-008
- Name: Application of Potomac Place II LLC for the Demolition of the Pool Canopy at 800 4th Street Southwest
- Location: 800 4th Street S.W.
- Date of Order: 10/14/2003
- Type of Permit: Demolition
- Disposition: Granted
Applicant sought a permit to demolish a pavilion that together with an already demolished reflecting pool and flagstone patio formed part of the landscape of the landmark Capitol Park Apartments. The Mayor's Agent granted the demolition permit finding demolition consistent with the purposes of the Act because the pavilion no longer contributed significantly to the historic character of the property as (1) construction of the new wing of the apartment complex within a few feet of the pavilion would occur regardless of the Mayor's Agent's decision and (2) the applicant and opposing party, DCPL, had reached a settlement allowing the pavilion to be moved and requiring the applicant to pay $450,000 into a fund for historic preservation projects.The Committee of 100 was also an opposing party but did not agree to the settlement.
Consistent with the Purposes of the Act/Demolition:
"With respect to historic landmarks, the purposes of the law are 'to retain and enhance historic landmarks in the District of Columbia and to encourage their adaptation for current use.'" D.C. Code § 6-1101(b)(2)(A).
The issue in this case was whether demolition or retention of the pavilion was the best means to encourage the adaptation for current use of the entire landmark property of which the pavilion was but one component.
"Regardless of what the optimum protection solution might have been before construction began at the site, the issuance of valid building permits before landmark status was requested for the Property presents only two alternatives: allow the pavilion to remain in situ where it will be enveloped by new construction or allow the pavilion to be demolished."
The mitigation measures agreed to by the parties (i.e. moving the pavilion to a location accessible to District residents, including an interpretive presentation of the original site conveying the historic design and significance of the landmark property at the new site, and undertaking other improvements to enhance or expand public, historic open space in or about Southwest) were consistent with the purposes of the Act.
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