Architectural Review Committee Report, September 2018

Cleveland Park Historical Society Architectural Review Committee

Thursday, September 13, 2018




ARC Members attending: Christine Hobbs, Stefan Hurray, Ron Ngiam, Phil Eagleburger, Tina Mead, David Kay, Ana Evans, Danny Ince, Anne Weir and Lois Orr.

Carin Ruff, CPHS Executive Director, also attended.


2929 Macomb Street, N.W.

Agent: Daniel Jacobeen, Jacobeen Architecture

2929 Macomb is a “Sherman Cottage” built in 1906. The proposal includes construction of one- and two-story additions to the west and north sides of the house. An existing one-story addition, a first floor bay and an existing wooden deck will be removed. The new additions would wrap around the west side and rear of the house with the front-facing south side set back from the existing front façade. The second-story addition would be set further back still. The materials would mimic the existing materials of stucco and shingle siding.

The ARC generally supports the design. However, on the second floor, the northwest corner of the house needs to be set back so that it reads as a separate, indented mass.

The motion passed 9-1.


3300 Newark Street, NW.

Owner: Sean Ruppert and Laine Shakerdge, Whitestone Property Group

Agent: Sean Ruppert

A proposal for this property, which was built in 1920, was originally presented in an advisory capacity in July. The proposal has been substantially altered since then. The current proposal includes the construction of a rear addition and upper and lower decks. Also, the front portico would be opened up. The size of the house would increase from approximately 3000 square feet to 5800 square feet, and to 6700 square feet if including the garage. Portions of the rear addition would extend 19 feet beyond the existing house. In this revised proposal, the rear deck has been divided into an upper and lower portion. The upper deck would be 9 feet deep and the lower deck which is approximately 4 feet below, would be 19 feet deep. The materials on the addition would be hardi plank with copper gutters.

The ARC has the following comments:

  • In July, the ARC had requested a more complete package as outlined on the CPHS web site. There are still several outstanding items. These include a more detailed topographical map of the whole ravine including the run of the stream; a rendering of how the proposed addition will look when viewed uphill from the rear yards on Macomb Street; and a split section view of the ravine with the proposed addition and deck. (The ARC received the site section and the view from Macomb after the meeting.)
  • The ARC recognizes the improvements in the design of the house after the July meeting, including removing the tower in the southeast corner. However, there are still several concerns.
  • The bulk of the rear addition needs to be reduced and the design simplified. The use of multiple gambrels should be eliminated (A design cue should be taken from the simpler older addition on the front west side of the house.) The addition should not extend past the neighboring houses. In short, the addition should be subservient to the original historic house.
  • The ARC recommends that the lower deck be eliminated, as it pushes too far into the ravine, and that a single deck, 9-10 feet deep be constructed across the rear of the house.
  • A number of neighbors expressed concern about this project and about the impact of construction on the ravine, particularly since the ravine is at one of its most steep points behind this house.
  • The ARC notes again that there are other additions and decks that extend further into the ravine than this current proposal. We do not know when each of these was constructed and they should not be taken as precedent. The scale of the proposed deck and addition should respond to the original historical scale of the house as well as its setting on the ravine.

The motion passed 10-0.


3118 Quebec Place, N.W.

Agent: Mark McInturff, McInturff Architects

While this 1937 house is a contributing, though not especially significant, house in the historic district, it presents unique historic preservation and design challenges. Facing both Porter Street and Quebec Place, the house has two front facades. The Porter Street front, which is several stories above street level, presents a cottage-like façade to the street; while the Quebec Place front is the one used by the homeowners and is largely hidden from the street. The proposal envisions changes to both façades. On the Porter Street front, the windows on the east side would be lowered to the floor and the shutters would be removed. French doors would replace the windows facing the landing terrace. On the Quebec Place side, a glass and trim addition would extend across the width of the house, the garage would become a pavilion, and a porte-cochère would be constructed on the north side. The brick rear wall of the porte cochere would be visible from Porter Street. The ARC reviewed the two facades separately.

The ARC had no objections to the changes proposed to the Quebec Place façade and thought the design well thought out and a contribution to the historic district. Motion passed 10-0.

However, because of the unique nature of this house, the ARC had differing opinions about the Porter Street façade. The ARC thought that lowering the three east side windows altered the character of the house too significantly. The ARC supported the other proposed changes to the Porter Street façade. This motion passed 5-3, with 2 abstentions .

The dissenting votes on this resolution believe that the decision not to allow changes to the three Porter Street windows is not consistent with past ARC decisions. In the past, the ARC has supported certain changes to the front of “contributing but not significant” houses when the appearance was improved.