Architectural Review Committee Report, May 2018

Cleveland Park Historical Society Architectural Review Committee

Monday, May 14, 2018

REPORT

ARC Members in attendance: Phil Eagleburger, Lois Orr, Stefan Hurray, Anne Weir, Danny Ince, Tina Mead, Ana Evans, David Kay, and Ron Ngiam. Also in attendance: Carin Ruff, CPHS Executive Director.

 

3512 Lowell Street, NW, HPA 18-366

Agent in attendance: Amanda Mosher, Anne Decker Architects.

Designed by Davis Palmer for owner and builder Charles H. Taylor, 3512 Lowell Street was constructed in 1916, and is an important contributing property within the Cleveland Park Historic District. The subject property is a two-story stucco-clad house with a tiled, hipped roof with projecting eaves. Off the east and west ends of the house are two-story, hip-roofed wings, dates unknown, but which have the appearance of original porch wings that have been altered and enclosed over time. A free-standing two-bay garage with a tile and standing seam metal roof is located at the rear of the property. The fenestration throughout the house consists of a mix of window styles and sizes, the result of multiple alterations over time.

The proposed work is primarily interior work, with modest exterior changes, window changes, and shallow porch additions on the rear and sides of the house. The interior work essentially removes all vestiges of interior character-defining features of the main floor of the house. However, interior changes are not the purview of the ARC. The exterior changes go a long way to regularizing and “quieting” the cacophony of fenestration that has evolved over the years. The proposed porches however, use a design motif that essentially mimics the existing front porch, and this has the effect of essentially disguising distinction between old and new work, which is not in keeping with goals of the Historic District. The ARC recommends taking a distinctive approach for the porch motifs.

That said, the ARC has no objection to the proposal as presented.

The motion passed 9-0.

 

3415 Porter Street, NW, HPRB 18-129 (Revised proposal)

Owner: Etienne Yehoue; agents in attendance: Jonas Carnemark and Michael Gillen of Carnemark Design Build.

The existing frame and siding-clad house was built in 1920 and is a contributing structure in the Historic District. The existing house has survived cosmetic changes over the years and still maintains its essential, modest, two-story, hipped-roof, box form of about 24’ x 34’ footprint. Existing rear attachments and alterations appear to be of no critical value. There are two very modest dormers on the long sides of the roof, also seemingly of limited value.

The current proposal has addressed some of the concerns raised in the previous ARC review, including importantly, providing an accurate, coherent set of drawings describing the proposed work and how it relates to the existing house.

The proposal adds a three-story addition to the rear of the existing two-story house, after removal of the existing rear additions. This is achieved by: 1. Extruding the existing length of primary mass of the house by about 14 feet (40% longer), and 2. adding a modest roof pop-up of about 30 inches higher than the existing roof (eaves raised by 30”). Other changes include the removal of an existing one-car garage on the alley and the corresponding addition of a new one-car garage attached to the rear of the house. Finally, even though the existing original material (under the existing cladding) is wood siding, the proposal calls for an all-new stucco finish.

The ARC does not object to the concept of an addition to rear of this house nor to the reasonable changing of fenestration proposed. However, there is a significant issue that did not get addressed from the previous iteration. From the previous ARC write-up, “…The new mass should be subordinate to and distinct from the original house, not dominant.” This proposal significantly alters the existing primary mass by extruding it without any clear break and also by popping up the entire existing roof along with the overall height of the existing house. The integrity of the original primary mass should be retained. Additional living space can be achieved in a couple of ways:

  • Adding a two-story addition to the rear while also providing a clear break between the existing primary mass and the addition.
  • Adding attic level space (3rd floor) through the use of new shed dormers. This would be more easily done by NOT also adding ceiling height to the existing 2nd floor, as shown in the current proposal.

The ARC also is not in support of removing the existing garage and recommends that any work done to the garage be done in its existing location, in keeping with the pattern set by the existing garages arrayed along the same alley.

Finally, as previously stated, the type of finish extant on the original (clapboard, concealed under the existing siding), should be either restored or replaced in kind. Paintable, decay-resistant cementitious clapboard is an acceptable, practical substitute.

The motion passed 9-0.