Architectural Review Committee Report, February 2018

Cleveland Park Historical Society Architectural Review Committee

Monday, February 12, 2018


ARC Members attending: Christine Hobbs, Lois Orr, Stefan Hurray, Phil Eagleburger, Tina Mead, Win Brown, David Kay and Ron Ngiam.

Also attending was Carin Ruff, CPHS Executive Director.


3505 34th Street, N.W.

Owners: Rivera-Kicker

Agent: Jeffery Broadhurst, Broadhurst Architects

The house was originally built in 1929 and is constructed of masonry and stucco with half timbering detail. The proposal includes a rear addition and new window openings on the south side elevation. The front door, which is not original to the house, and several non-historic windows in the front will also be replaced with divided light wood windows. The existing rear frame enclosed porches will be removed prior to the construction of the new two-story plus basement and roof deck rear addition which will add an additional 150 square feet to the house. The new rear addition will consist of a brick foundation and glass and cement board walls on the upper levels. This addition protrudes approximately 9 inches past the side façade of the house.

The ARC is concerned about the dominance and boxiness of the addition. The ARC suggests that the addition, rather than protruding beyond the plane of the south wall of the house, be inset in keeping with the usual practice for additions in the historic district so that it appears to be a subservient rather than a dominant attachment to the original house.

The ARC appreciates the completeness of the package submitted.

The motion passed 8-0.


3410 Macomb Street, N.W.

Owner: Menkes

Agent: Alex Smith, Hamilton Snowber Architects

The frame and stucco house was constructed in 1920. The proposal includes a new one-story rear addition with basement and the replacement of the aluminum siding with cedar shingles on the upper floors. The existing 9 foot deep, two-story rear addition will be removed and replaced by a 19 foot, plus 6 foot bay one-story addition. The new rear addition will be stucco with a stone veneer foundation. The existing windows will also be replaced and the front columns will be repaired as necessary. On the south side, a new larger window will be installed on the second floor.

While the ARC has no basic objection to the proposal, the ARC is concerned about the short, flattened, significant footprint of the proposed one story first floor addition in conjunction with the entire removal of the historic rear sleeping porch (subsequently enclosed). Retention of the second floor sleeping porch is recommended as a means to soften the abrupt stepping down of the proposed mass.

The motion passed 6-1.

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The UPTOWN Sign *UPDATE 7/31: AMC will keep the sign!*

Uptown Theater opening night, October 1936AMC Theaters spokesman Ryan Noonan issued this statement this afternoon: In response to community feedback, AMC will maintain the Uptown signage, with an upgrade to LED lighting for better energy efficiency and to ensure the sign remains in good working order. We continue to evaluate additional exterior signage plans, including the addition of the AMC brand on the theatre. We appreciate the passion and feedback from the community, and look forward to serving moviegoers at AMC Uptown 1 for years to come.”

The DC Historic Preservation Office (HPO) has canceled AMC’s application and will require a new application from them for any further signage they may propose, as well as for the proposed change to LED for the Uptown sign. Once HPO has received an application with the specifics of the proposed change, if they determine that a change in lighting technology would not alter the character of the sign, they will approve it administratively. If they believe there would be a change to the character of the sign, they will send it to the neighborhood (ARC and ANC) for review. We will update when we know more.

Thanks to everyone who wrote to AMC, contacted them via social media, and expressed concern to us and love for the Uptown’s iconic sign. And special thanks to ANC Commissioner Emma Hersh for being out in front on this issue all weekend. [Read more…]

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Architectural Review Committee Report: July 2017

Cleveland Park Historical Society Architectural Review Committee

Monday, July 10, 2017


ARC Members attending: Christine Hobbs, Lois Orr, David Kay, Stefan Hurray, Phil Eagleburger, Ana Evans, and Ron Ngiam.

Also attending was Carin Ruff, CPHS Executive Director.


3618 Ordway Street, N.W.

Owner: Pamela Steele

The house, constructed in 1924 (or 1922) in a farmhouse or vernacular style, is currently undergoing a rehabilitation and rear addition. In connection with this project, the owner presented a front porch design for concept review. The concept porch is nine feet square covered with a shallow hipped roof and not centered on the front door. Materials for the porch would match the existing materials.

The ARC finds the concept to be an inappropriate solution because the proposed roof shape and decorative detailing do not relate sufficiently to the existing house and because the proportions of the proposed porch break up the historic façade of the house rather than complementing it. The ARC recommends that the front porch be either a smaller structure, presenting as a portico that would echo the design of the existing door surround, or a full front porch that would echo the design of the main roof.

The motion passed 6-1


3610 Macomb Street, N.W., HPA 17-485, concept/rear addition

Owner: Martin

Agent: David Jones, Jones & Boer Architects

The proposal for this foursquare house includes a two-story and a one-story rear addition as well as a small one-story addition on the east side of the house. The existing two-story rear sleeping porch addition would be removed. Several existing windows would also be removed and new window openings added on the east, west and south sides of the house. Materials for the roof, stucco and windows would match the existing materials.

The ARC recommends that the two-story addition at the rear (southwest) corner of the house be treated in such a way that the distinction between the house’s main volume and the original sleeping porches is not erased. The addition should be differentiated and acknowledge the original form of the house.

The motion passed 7-0.


3031 Macomb Street, NW

Owner: Bronwyn Bruton

The proposal for the Sherman cottage built in 1906 incudes the construction of two dormers in the rear of the house and the repositioning of a third-story rear window. While the address of the house is Macomb Street, the front of the house faces Ross Place and one of the proposed dormers would be visible from Macomb street. The materials would match the existing materials.

Since the proposal is consistent with the original style of the house, the ARC had no objection to the proposal as presented.

The motion passed 7-0.


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Connecticut Avenue Issues: Resources and Studies

The CPHS board and staff have been following closely the conversations taking place in the neighborhood about the stresses on our Connecticut Avenue commercial district. We have been attending, and will continue to participate in, meetings with neighborhood organizations and merchants to explore ways to support neighborhood businesses and revitalize Connecticut Avenue.

Our Preservation Task Force (PTF), a newly-formed committee of the board, is studying the issues involved from a historic preservation perspective. The PTF’s mandate is to make recommendations to the board on preservation-related policies and advocacy. The PTF includes five members of the board, including two ARC members. Contact the PTF by email. 

While discussions are ongoing, we wanted to share as much useful information as we can to help inform the conversation, including historical, historic preservation, and zoning information, and studies commissioned by neighborhood and DC organizations. We will continue to update this post with more resources.


The 2017 Neighborhood Profiles directory by the Washington, DC Economic Partnership provides demographic and economic data for 54 neighborhood commercial areas, including Cleveland Park, with a focus on population in the half-mile walkshed for each.

This Commercial Market Analysis and Enhancement Strategy for Cleveland Park (October 2016) was commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and shared with us by the Cleveland Park Business Association.


The Neighborhood Mixed Use Zones subtitle of the current (2016) zoning code, which includes the Cleveland Park zone NC-3.


Understanding the Cleveland Park Historic District

This page has a map of the historic district showing contributing and noncontributing buildings, and links to our National Register of Historic Places nomination, which provides a detailed history of the Park & Shop and the Connecticut Avenue business district and the arguments for their significance on which our historic status is based.

This 1991 issue of our newsletter reports on the addition to the Park & Shop that was reviewed by HRPB and built that year. Other early issues of Voices provide perspective on 1980s activism to preserve the neighborhood-serving retail district on Connecticut Avenue.

DC Historic Preservation Law

DC’s preservation law and regulations are posted here: .

This Georgetown Law Library site (which originated with Tersh Boasberg’s preservation law seminar) aggregates all kinds of useful resources on DC preservation law:

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Architectural Review Committee Report: June 2017

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


3030 Macomb Street, NW

Owners: Robert Welp and Carmel Martin

Agent: Robin McGrew, Cunningham|Quill

Located on Macomb Street, facing Ross Place, the property is adjacent to the Tregaron Conservancy on the south. The original house was built in 1906 with a major addition added in 1999. The proposal includes the enclosure of a smaller side front porch which was added during the 1999 renovation and is located on the east side of the house. The proposal also includes the replacement of windows on the east, south and west sides of the house on the first floor, the addition of a rear screened porch on the lower level and new landscaping. The neighbors have been contacted.

The ARC has no objection to the proposal but suggests that horizontal elements be added to the new fixed glass panels particularly on the east side which is visible from the street.

The motion passed 8-0.


2938 Newark Street, NW

Owner: Judy Hubbard

Agent: Jane Treacy, Treacy Eagleburger

The house was built in 1923. The proposal includes the construction of an extension of the front porch roof on the front and east side of the house in order to extend the roof to the entry vestibule. Materials would match the existing materials. The neighbors have been contacted.

The ARC has no objection to the proposal.

The motion passed 7-0 with one recusal.


3225 33rd Place, NW

Owner: Matthew Offen

Agent: Henry Chuang, Thomson & Cooke

The proposal includes the construction of a new garage off the public alley that runs from 33rd Place between Macomb and Lowell and is parallel to both 33rd Place and Macomb Street. The proposed garage is 20 feet in height with the garage door being 9 feet in height and the structure would be 647 square feet in area. The prior garage was heavily damaged by a fallen tree. The proposed garage is significantly larger than the neighboring garages. Materials include brick and hardiplank. The neighbors have been contacted.

While the proposed garage is not visible from the street, the ARC finds the proposed structure to be too massive in size and height and encourages the owners to redesign a smaller structure more in scale with the existing alley structures.

The motion passed 8-0.


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Architectural Review Committee Report: May 2017

ARC Members attending: Phil Eagleburger, Tina Mead, Danny Ince, Anne Weir, Ron Ngiam, Win Brown, Stefan Hurray, and David Kay. Also attending were Carin Ruff, CPHS Executive Director and Nick Netchvolodoff, CPHS Board President.

HPA 17-247: 3035 Rodman Street, NW

Concept/two-story rear addition (revised)

Owners: Federico Asch and Ana Barac

Agent: KUBE architecture

The house is a Sears kit house built in 1921. The proposal includes the demolition of several previous rear additions, the construction of new rear additions and deck, and new dormer on the east side. The siding on the front of the new second story dormer would match the existing siding. In the rear, hardieplank would be used. The neighbors have been contacted. This the second presentation of the proposal, which has been revised reflecting feedback.

The ARC commends the breaking up of the massing of the rear addition into stepped components of rear dormer, first floor addition, and base (basement) addition. Aligning the sides of the upper two components and having those placed symmetrically in plan on the rear massing of the house are also improvements.

The new east dormer, however, should precisely mirror the size, length, and profile of the existing west dormer. Its prominence and visibility from the front require deference to the pronounced symmetry of the Sears house’s original façade. As presented it extends too far to the east. (See note.) Although an argument could be made that the two dormers should be differentiated to distinguish new work from old, if the difference is too subtle, the ill-proportion dormer (the longer one) will be perceived as a “mistake” or bastardization of the original dormer. The better option is simply to match the original, if a dormer is to be added at all. The ARC feels that deferring to the symmetry of the original house is the overriding concern.

The motion passed 6-2.

Note: The previous ARC recommendation that the east dormer “be indented two feet to reflect the existing dormer,” was intended to do just that: literally reflect the existing dormer and it was expected that the two feet cited would achieve that. Somehow this did not achieve that intent but regardless, and as a possible clue to the confusion, it should be noted that there are numerous drafting errors on the current drawing package (4/28/17): Dwg#2 on A-117 incorrectly shows the intersection of the line of the NE roof hip, and the side of the proposed rear dormer; Conversely Dwg#2 on A-119 incorrectly shows the same condition (NW roof hip and side of rear dormer); Additionally on Dwg#2 on A-118 the existing west dormer (shown in the distance to the right of the rear dormer) is not consistent with what is shown on the west and south elevations – It appears to be shown too short in length, which may have lent to the “two feet” instruction noted above.

HPA 16-053: Tregaron, 3100 Macomb Street NW

Revised concept/construction of new classroom building and site alterations at Washington International School

Agents: Clayton Lewis, Head of School and Doug Bothner, Ziger/Snead

Several previous proposals have been presented by the school. (Please see previous ARC reports for brief background and proposal descriptions). The current proposal, Revision #4 (April 28, 2017), responds to previous criticism by reducing the footprint by ~30%; reducing the height from 31’ to 28’; reducing the building length by 39%, for a total length of 81’; and preserving most of the woodland slope behind the existing gym.

Approximately twenty concerned neighbors attended the meeting, primarily those who border the north side of the property, on Macomb Street. Those who spoke expressed various concerns, from disagreement with the style of the design, to disagreement with placement of any building in the proposed location. Several who spoke raised issues that are not within the ARC’s purview, such as construction management and parking demand management. ARC also received three letters, one supporting the project, and two against the project.

The ARC reviewed the project within the context of four major categories: siting, campus effect, massing, and materials.


Within the context of the historic house, landscape, and property, the ARC concludes that the placement of the proposed building on the edge of the north slope neatly conceals the addition from the important viewsheds of and about the historic house while at the same time addressing the haphazardness of the “backside” of the academic campus that has evolved over the years. The several iterations of the proposal have resulted in several reductions in size, to a point that the size of the current proposal is more in keeping with existing buildings on the campus.

One attendee pointed out that the current proposal no longer wraps the backside of the existing gym, leaving its haphazard side exposed. The ARC considered this, but concluded that the dense foliage that would remain under the current proposal mitigates the exposure of the existing gym. As noted in a previous review, the ARC thought that the insertion of the building in the proposed location was acceptable relative to the total acreage of the property and felt that the project represented a reasonable evolution in the usage of the property that was sufficiently respectful of the historic landscape.

Campus effect:

The ARC feels that the proposed building would lend unity and focus to the ensemble of historic buildings and help define them as a campus. It would improve the hierarchy of buildings and connections, both internal and external, producing a pleasing, thriving amenity that complements the Cleveland Park neighborhood as a whole.


The reductions in size and massing over the several iterations of the design have been notable. The ARC believes that the current massing is now quite comparable to that of the adjacent carriage house. The roof profile also fits with the existing higher buildings on the campus. Therefore, the proposed building appears to fit well with the existing group.

The ARC has one concern, however: the prominence of the tallest corner of the addition that is physically situated closest to Macomb Street. The removal of the previously-proposed portion of the building that was to have wrapped the existing gym exposed and made more prominent that remaining corner of the addition. This may or may not be a problem but it should be noted as an issue of concern to be addressed in the course of further development of the design.


The ARC agrees with the concept of reducing the variety of materials used to render the building. There is also general agreement among ARC members on the mix of glass planes, steel verticals, and silvery masonry base, and with the notion of a “pleated” look to the façade, and a contemporary character to the style of the building. Several public attendees registered negative views of these features, some preferring more receding or a more traditional style.

Additionally, there was some discussion at the public meeting about the path of the sun and whether it would or would not shine directly on the north façade. The proposed building does not face precisely due north (it is rotated somewhat to the east). Nevertheless, the ARC concludes that the low angle of the rising summer sun coupled with dense foliage of mid-summer would mitigate direct reflections.

The ARC concluded that the state of the design of the materials at this point is as yet not clearly resolved, and perhaps teeters between being terrific or being not good at all. One public attendee likened the look to a “shipping container.” Careful execution of the particulars of the exterior rendering of the building will be essential to avoiding too boxy an appearance and to the success of the intention to make the building disappear in the surrounding woods.

Related to the materials discussion is the question of whether foliage will completely conceal the building or not. There are differing opinions on what is possible or desirable in this regard. Some public attendees thought that the building should be totally concealed and believed that the collateral damage to trees from construction, coupled with the time required for new growth, was an untenable prospect.

The ARC acknowledges the concerns about limiting loss of trees and encouraging speedy new growth. However, in keeping with its architectural review mandate, the ARC is evaluating the proposal as a permanent addition to the ensemble of buildings within the landmark, in the context of a natural landscape that will be continually growing and changing around it. By that standard, the proposed building is a compatible addition to the historic estate and to the Cleveland Park Historic District.

The motion passed 8-0.

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Architectural Review Committee Report: April 2017

Cleveland Park Historical Society Architectural Review Committee

Monday, April 10, 2017


ARC Members attending: Christine Hobbs, Lois Orr, David Kay, Win Brown, Stefan Hurray, Danny Ince, Phil Eagleburger, and Ron Ngiam.

Also attending was Carin Ruff, CPHS Executive Director.


HPA 17-298

3501 Newark Street, N.W.

Owners: Jim and Jane Manzi

Agent: Carolyn Brown, Donohue Stearns

The property is “the farmhouse” facing The Rosedale Conservancy to the south. The farmhouse is thought to be the oldest home still standing on its original site in Washington, DC, and the surrounding grounds with its terraced lawn have a history dating back to the 1700s. By the early 20th century, there appear to have been picket fences on the east and west sides of the house, but not across the front. The grounds of the Rosedale Conservancy are well used by neighbors and their dogs, as was intended at the time of the creation of the Conservancy. However, in recent years, neighbors and dogs have increasingly intruded on to the private property of the farmhouse. The owners wish to erect a fence along the south property line to block these intrusions. The proposal calls for an approximately 4 foot white picket fence.

The ARC sympathizes with the concerns of the home owners and supports the idea of a physical barrier between the “dog park” and the owners’ front yard. (The motion passed 7-1).

However, the ARC does not support the construction of a 4-foot high white picket fence. Such a fence would be too visible, solid and high. The ARC recommends a shorter, “invisible” fence, perhaps cable, combined with shrubs and landscaping to create a wide, not tall barrier; such a barrier would be more transparent and natural. (The motion passed 8-0.)

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Architectural Review Committee Report: March 2017

Cleveland Park Historical Society Architectural Review Committee

Monday, March 13, 2017


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

Also attending was Carin Ruff, CPHS Executive Director.


3035 Rodman Street, N.W.

Owners: Federico Asch and Ana Barac

Agent: Richard Loosle-Ortega and Jorge Concepcion, KUBE architecture

The house was built in 1921. The proposal includes the demolition of several previous rear additions, the construction of a new rear addition and deck, and new dormer on the east side. The siding on the front of the new second story dormer would match the existing siding. In the rear, HardiePlank would be used. The neighbors have been contacted.

The ARC feels that the proposed addition does not defer sufficiently to the existing house and recommends that the rear addition be designed to balance with the symmetry of the front facade. The ARC also has concerns with the massing, especially since the northwest corner of the second floor will be visible from the street, since there is no house on the west side of the property. The proposed dormer should be indented two feet to reflect the existing dormer.

The motion passed 8-0.


3017 Rodman Street, N.W.

Owners: Susan Ratigan

Agent: Michael Bruckwick , Katinas Bruckwick Architecture

The house was built in 1921. The proposal includes the construction of two additional dormers in the front of the house and the construction of an additional dormer at the rear of the second floor. The materials will match the existing materials on the house. The neighbors have been contacted.

The ARC notes that the addition of front dormers constitutes a substantial change in the primary façade that is not consistent with past practices in the Cleveland Park Historic District. The ARC also had concerns about the massing in the rear. However, since no rear elevation was presented, the ARC was not able evaluate the proposal fully. The ARC requests that the missing information be provided.

The motion passed 8-0.

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Architectural Review Committee Report: January 2017

Cleveland Park Historical Society Architectural Review Committee
Monday, January 9, 2017

ARC Members attending: Phil Eagleburger, Christine Hobbs, Stefan Hurray, Ron Ngiam, Lois Orr, Anne Weir.

Also attending were Carin Ruff, CPHS Executive Director, and Emma Hersh, ANC3C-05 Commissioner.

HPA 17-126
3700 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Concept/new construction of a single-family house
Architect: Dynerman Architects PC: Alan Dynerman, Bill Putnam
Owner: Donald Malnati, Murillo/Malnati Group LLC

The proposal is for a three-story house to replace the existing house. The new house would be clad in brick, with a main entrance on Connecticut Avenue and a secondary entrance on Rodman Street. The footprint of the existing house would be extended somewhat to the north.

The existing house was originally a 1920 bungalow like its neighbors on Rodman, but it was declared noncontributing by HPRB in 2006 because of the extent of changes it had undergone prior to the creation of the historic district. The property is subject to a National Park Service conservation easement dating to 1998 which limits any replacement structure to a single-family house, no more than 40 feet high, “substantially in the same location, type, and general dimensions” as the existing house. The design for any replacement structure is subject to the approval of the National Park Service. The owners intend to seek NPS approval after completing the HPRB review process.

The ARC previously saw plans for this property in February and March 2016. After reviewing the first version of the plans, the ARC requested that the applicants reconsider the Rodman Street entrance to provide a better transition from the house to the parking area. The ARC voted no objection to the revised design presented in March 2016. The current plans have been redesigned to reduce the massing somewhat, reduce the extent to which the new house would impinge on the Rodman Street driveway area in response to neighbor and ANC concerns, and simplify the design of the Connecticut Avenue entrance by straightening the stair in response to an HPO staff request.

The architect reports that the neighbor to the west on Rodman has been contacted and has expressed an intention to support the project.

The ARC has no objection to the project as presented. However, the ARC believes that the property’s setting in the Cleveland Park Historic District and on Connecticut Avenue demands high-quality materials and detailing. The ARC would like to see careful attention to these matters as the project is developed further following concept review.

The motion passed 6-0.

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New Guide to Preservation Design Review

CPHS has published an updated procedural guide to preservation design review in Cleveland Park. Download the guide here, or view it as a web page.

If you are planning work on your historic district property or are preparing to present a project to our Architectural Review Committee, everything you need to know is there, including contact information for our ARC, ANC3C, and the DC Historic Preservation Office; sample project presentations; and links to Historic Preservation Office design guidelines.

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