HPA No. 2013-373 (In re. 3101 M Street NW)
- HPA Number: 2013-373
- Location of Property: 3101 M Street NW; Square 1208, Lot 13
- Date of Decision: February 18, 2014
- Type of Case/Type of Permit Sought: Alteration
- Disposition: Denied
- Subject Matter(s): Windows; Historical District – Contributing Building; Compatible
Summary of Decision:
This decision concerns a permit to replace 21 windows in a nineteenth-century contributing building in the Georgetown Historic District. Before obtaining a permit, the owners ordered windows that were substantially similar to the previous windows--wooden, double-hung, nine-over-nine and six-over-six windows. When the owners did apply for a permit, the Old Georgetown Board of the Commision of Fine Arts discovered a 1959 photograph with all two-over-two windows and arched top sashes on the windows on the M Street facade. The Old Georgetown Board informed the applicants that the proposed windows, while similar to the existing (non-original) windows, were nevertheless not historically appropriate and that two-over-two windows with arched top sashes would be appropriate. The Old Georgetown Board recommended against issuing a permit unless they were replaced by windows that resembled the 1959 photograph.
On appeal to the Mayor's Agent, the owners of the property argued that they acted in the good faith belief that the new windows would satisfy the requirement of the District of Columbia Historic Landmark and Historic District Act (the "Act"). But the Mayor's Agent noted that the windows had been ordered before any formal approval or advice had been sought from the Commission of Fine Arts or from the Historic Preservation Office.
Because the proposed replacement windows are not consistent with the historic character of the building, as evidenced by the 1959 photograph, the Mayor's Agent concluded that granting the permit would not be consistent with the purposes of the Act.
According to applicable regulations, when replacing windows that date from the construction of the building, the replacements "shall be approved if they reasonably match the historic windows in all respects—configuration, method of operation, profile, dimensions, material, and finish." 10C D.C.M.R. § 2308.2. In the case where the windows to be replaced are not original, the HPRB-adopted Window Repair and Replacement Guidelines state that "replacements should be consistent with historic design."
In this case, the 1959 photograph identifies two-over-two windows as historically consistent, so approving other windows designs would not be consistent with the purposes of the Act.
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Frederick Douglass Community Improvement Council/Concerned Citizens of Anacostia v. District of Columbia Office of Planning., Historic Preservation Office District of Columbia. Court of Appeals (2015)