Architectural Review Committee Report: October 2016

ARC Members attending: Christine Hobbs, Lois Orr, Phil Eagleburger, Anne Weir, and Danny Ince.

Also attending were Frank Swain, CPHS Board member and Carin Ruff, CPHS Executive Director.


3401 34th Place NW, HPA 16-680

Concept/add dormer window, enlarge existing bay; build retaining wall

The proposal includes modifications to both the house and the grounds. A new retaining wall is proposed along the sidewalk on both 34th Place and Newark Street. The side yard facing Newark would be leveled and a fence installed above the new retaining wall. The front steps would be rebuilt. The proposal indicates that brick would be used for the retaining wall and the steps.

A new third floor dormer is proposed for the south side of the house, to match the existing dormer on the front of the house. The skylights on both the south and north sides of the roof would be removed. Also on the south side, the first floor bay would be widened, with siding to match the existing and new wood steps added to the rear of the porch. On the north side, the areaway and steps to the basement would be enlarged, with new windows added at both the basement level and the first and second floors. It is proposed to excavate and expand the basement.

The neighbors have been contacted.

The ARC had no objection to many of the elements of this proposal but has the following comments:

Particular care should be taken to match the proposed third floor south dormer with the existing front dormer at both the roof and the walls.

While the ARC supports the construction of a retaining wall and the leveling of the side yard, the fence should not be placed on top of the proposed wall. The fence should keep its current location, so that it is set back from the wall. The use of vegetation should be considered instead of a fence, as should the grading of the yard between the wall and the fence. It is important that the yard maintain an open appearance to the street and that the wall match the streetscape in materials and design. With this in mind, stone may be a more appropriate material to use. The ARC requests additional information on the height of the wall at the east and west ends of the Newark Street property line.

The motion passed 5-0


3310 Ordway Street NW, HPA 16-628 (revised plans)

Concept/alterations and two-story addition to non-contributing building

The proposal to substantially alter and expand this non-contributing building was presented to the ARC last month. The house was built in 1955 and is one of three houses built at approximately the same time in this block of Ordway Street. While the first floor would be maintained, the existing second floor would be removed, replaced by a newly constructed second and third floors. The house would also be expanded to the rear. The new two-story side addition would also house a garage, accessed by a graded driveway

Last month, the ARC stated that even though the existing house is a non-contributing structure, the proposal will have an impact on the streetscape and the neighborhood. It is important that the structure relate visually to its neighbors and be compatible in scale, materials, and massing. Modern design, well executed, has a place in the Cleveland Park Historic District. The ARC found that last month’s proposal did not meet the criteria for new construction and that the quality of the design was lacking. The design was disjointed including the variety of window and roof styles and materials. The proposed structure did not connect to its neighbors in scale, materials and context. The ARC did not support the proposal presented last month.

The proposal has now been redesigned and much improved, with a redesign of the roof line, windows and materials, including the use of stucco.

The ARC has the following comment: While the design is much improved, the ARC remains concerned about the front wall and the retaining walls along the steeply graded ramp to the garage. The ARC requests more detailed drawings of the retaining wall, the front wall and the driveway.

The motion passed 5-0


3433 33rd Place NW (Cleveland Park Club), HPA 16-701

Concept/alterations, site work and deck

The building housing the Cleveland Park Club was built in 1900. The proposal includes repairs to the porch foundation wall, and replacing the existing brick front steps with wider, wooden steps as originally built. Also included in the proposal is resurfacing the existing pool deck and constructing a new deck and patio. There would also be a new ramp off of Ordway Street and repair of a failing stairway.

The neighbors have been contacted.

The ARC has no objection to the proposal as presented.

The motion passed 5-0.