Posts Tagged “Old Georgetown Board”
The Old Georgetown Board met Thursday and brought plans for the Northeast Triangle Dorm closer to approval by supporting the height, massing, and siting of the new residence hall.
On November 25 the D.C. Zoning Commission withheld approval of the project until the OGB commented on the University’s plans. Now this approval opens the doors for the University to focus more on specific details of the new residence hall.
“This was what we expected or even better,” Lauralyn Lee, Assistant Vice President of Community and Strategic Initiatives, told Vox. “We can now close out that part of the [zoning] process and focus on the architecture and design,” she said.
While the OGB was supportive of the overall zoning, they grew wary of some of the specific details of the residence hall.
“I’m not convinced by these selections,” said Old Georgetown Board Member Stephen Muse. “You, to some extent, corralled your students. This looks like a fortress. It needs to be its own work of art,” he said in response Sasaki architects’ claims that they were drawing from the student body and modelling a dorm after Healy and Copley.
The boards’ qualms were not restricted to structural design, as they questioned how the entrances would affect student traffic on campus, as well as the materials going into creating the building. “You have an uphill battle with me if you want to use stone,” said board member Alan Brangman.
Despite the board’s doubts, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission spoke in full support of the University moving forward with the dorm construction during the meeting. Additionally, Assistant Vice President of Design, Regina Bleck, was not surprised by the Boards’ critiques and assured that it will help for completing the future design.
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The D.C. Zoning Commission met Monday night to review proposals for the construction of the Northeast Triangle Dorm and conversion of Ryan and Mulledy Halls into residential spaces. Although all commissioners expressed profuse support, they decided to withhold approval until the University received a response from the Old Georgetown Board, who has not yet commented on the University’s plans.
The meeting began with a presentation of the current proposal by Georgetown Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Augostini. He described how Georgetown had reached “an inflection point” as a result as of the financial crisis, the ongoing technological, and a history of rancorous tensions with neighbors.
As co-chair of the Georgetown Community Partnership – a body formed by the 2010 Campus Plan – Augostini explained how the Partnership catalyzed an improvement in neighbor-University relations: “We realized the issues that separated us were a function of history. We were far more in agreement and had shared objectives.”
These shared objectives included improving Georgetown’s capacity as a residential living and learning campus. So far, these goals have resulted in the two sites now waiting approval at the Zoning meeting, one of which is the Northeast Triangle Dorm.
Principal Sasaki Architect Vinicius Gorgati presented the current plans. The dorm will have an active first floor with workshop spaces, study nooks and a fireplace lounge. The seventh floor boasts a terrace and the eighth an accessible green roof. With the green roof and other features, Sasaki hopes to achieve the Lead Gold certification in energy efficiency.
Augostini closed the presentation with a request for design flexibility in conjunction with proposal approval so that he and his fellows would not have to return to the commission.
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Before we all ended up on a rapid downward spiral, drunk on the sight of tentative sketches, thankfully, the Old Georgetown Board made the non-decision we all needed to be yanked back to reality.
The architects have repeatedly assured the student body, no doubt utterly terrified by the spitting revulsion it emitted after seeing the initial design, that this design is far from final, and this was reflected in the information session given by Sasaki at the OGB meeting yesterday.
The Board decided they will “wait until [they] take any action,” meaning that the Northeast Triangle dorm still has a long way to go before the Board makes an official decision to approve or disapprove it. This presentation was intended to present some facts about plans for the new dorm; it was not the final case for approval.
The “take no action” resolution by the three-man Old Georgetown Board came at around 10 a.m., on the heels of a 30-minute presentation by Gregory Janks, a member of Sasaki Associates, the architecture firm hired by Georgetown University to design the Northeast Triangle dorm.
While approval of the dorm’s design was not expected at Wednesday’s hearing, the litany of criticisms offered by members of the board suggested it would be some time before the proposal receives the OGB’s blessing.
Chief among the board’s complaints were concerns that the dorm might eat up valuable green space on the campus – replacing it with what OGB chairman David Cox described as “a chute between the long side of the new building and the long side of the Reiss building.”
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Serendipity3, the New York-based restaurant that purchased the old Nathan’s building, is scheduled to open in a few weeks. But, September’s Old Georgetown Board meeting may have thrown a wrench into those plans.
While the Advisory Neighborhood Commission initially voted 6-0 to support the concept of the bullnose awnings planned for Serendipity3, the commissioners also recommended that the OGB “take a look at” the building’s design plans.
When the OGB convened later that week, they struck down the concept design, stating that the awnings are “not appropriate to this historic building.”
Britt Swan, owner of Serendipity3, expected to open the restaurant within weeks. Now, he must re-file a design concept for approval by the OGB.
Who would guess that the Old Georgetown Board would slow down a company’s entrance into the neighborhood? That’s never happened before.
h/t Georgetown Dish
[UPDATE: Georgetown Metropolitan taught us a lesson in ANC and OGB politics.]
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Good news for all those iPhone, iPad, and iPod owners at Georgetown—we’re going to have an Apple Store of our own soon.
Georgetown Metropolitan reported yesterday that the Apple Store on the 1200 block of Wisconsin Ave. will likely open in the third week of June. The construction of the store should wrap up in the next week, according to an earlier post by GM.
“[P]eople hired to work the store will be receiving training for the first two weeks of June,” wrote GM. “There’s no guarantee that the store will open up the third week of June, but it sure looks like that’s the plan.”
It’s been a long journey for the Apple Store, which received approval to build from the Old Georgetown Board more than a year ago after rejecting the four previously proposed designs.
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Posted by: Molly Redden in News, Vox Populi, tags: 2010 Campus Plan, ANC, Enrollment, Georgetown Neighborhood, GUTS Buses, Housing, Old Georgetown Board, Traffic, Zoning
Well, it wasn’t the late January or early February date they had hoped for. But the 2010 Campus Plan steering committee has announced the last community meeting it will hold regarding the 2010 Campus Plan before it files the plan with the Old Georgetown Board and D.C. Zoning Commission for approval.
On Monday, April 26, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Georgetown Visitation, members of the Georgetown administration will present their final draft of the plan with information residents asked for in previous meetings. Those meetings collected community feedback and questions on three specific elements of the plan in November—Transportation, the 1789 Block, and Housing, Enrollment, and Off-Campus Life.
Material on the final draft of the plan will become available here as the meeting date approaches, but so far, the final draft is not available yet. In anticipation of the final draft, let’s recap: what are the major flashpoints for Georgetown neighbors going to be when it does become available, and what did they ask to know about the plan?
- Increased graduate enrollment — Currently, Georgetown is seeking to increase its graduate student enrollment by about 3,200 students, most of whom will be in the School of Continuing Studies. While the University is not going to increase undergraduate enrollment, neighbors are still furious. They want to know how many graduate students they can expect to move into the area.
- New undergraduate housing — Right now, there is no new undergraduate housing proposed in this plan. This is particularly irksome to neighborhood residents who remember that in a May 2009 presentation, the architecture firm working said the University could add 800 beds within Georgetown’s gates. (Although adding that many beds would have required Georgetown to build on nearly every open space left on campus, including the Harbin patio). Expect this to incense neighbors again, unless Georgetown has changed its plans.
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Ristorante Piccolo after the October 2008 fire
The cozy date night favorite of yesteryear Ristorante Piccolo, which a two-alarm fire virtually destroyed last fall, is set to reopen in 2010 according to We Love DC.
“[A]ccording to a recently displayed banner on the restaurant’s door, the eatery is scheduled to reopen in early 2010. No word yet on final opening date, or on what changes have/will take place to the menu, staff, or decor,” blogger Rebecca writes.
Ristorante Piccolo has been an empty shell since a fire in early October of 2008 caused $1 million worth of damage and drew over 110 fire fighters and 50 pieces of fire-fighting equipment.
“Before the fire, the upscale Italian restaurant, which was established in 1986, featured a second-floor balcony overlooking the C & O Canal, hardwood floors, three fireplaces, and a strolling violinist to lend a romantic atmosphere to the dining experience,” the Voice‘s Alisha Crovetto wrote.
In the intervening months, the restaurateurs who own Piccolo had a rough time getting some of their plans for renovation approved by various local government groups.
At a January Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting, ANC Commissioners gave the owner and her mother a hard time about a streetside outdoor dining area. The Old Georgetown Board also recently rejected designs for the streetside balcony the restaurant sported before.
Via Georgetown Metropolitan
Photo by Will Sommer
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Hooray! After sending Apple back to the drawing board four, yes four times, rejected plans for a Wisconsin Avenue Apple store in hand, the Old Georgetown Board has finally approved their designs! And it sounds like the news storefront, which this fifth set of plans presented sans the huge front window they had initially planned for, and with more brick, really turns the OGB on:
“This is beautifully executed,” Stephen J. Vanze, chairman of the Old Georgetown Board, told Karl Backus, Apple’s architect. “We’re very pleased.”
At least that’s over with! Apple still has to get the O.K. from the U.S Commission of Fine Arts, the OGB’s overlords, but according to the Post, it’s unlikely they’ll flip the decision.
Apple still hasn’t determined their construction schedule for the store, which will sit where French Connection used to at 1229 Wisconsin, but by gosh—at least we’re getting it!
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Lately, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E meeting have all had their share of fireworks, and last night’s meeting was no exception. They didn’t get to verbally stone any representatives from WASA, but they did unleash fury like Hell hath none on the owner of Philly Pizza. The Commissioners also applauded the arrival of The North Face store, while poo-pooing their big red signs, and prepared Georgetown for the 11-month loss of its Safeway.
Philly P’s: The highlight of tonight’s ANC meeting was the Commissioners’ unanimous chastisement of Philadelphia Pizza’s new 1211 Potomac location. The night started out poorly with Commissioners interrogating the engineer of the new ventilation system for Philly P’s and only got worse as they attacked Philly P’s ratio of sit down patrons to unruly students. (According the the Commissioners, Philly P’s needed a permit if over 50% of their customers used take out after ordering their food.)
Matt, the owner of Philly P’s, told the Commissioners that only 5% or less of his customers left the store before finishing their food (OK, Matt). An intense question-and-answer session followed in which the commissioners essentially accused Matt of dishonesty. It was unclear, however, if the owner of Philly P’s completely understood what the Commissioners were asking
ANC Chairman Ron Lewis ultimately issued a veiled threat against Philly P’s, bothered by their late hours, the high number of take out customers, and the odor that bothers the neighbors.
“If you are truly interested in being a good neighbor, you will fix these things,” Lewis said. “If not, we will have a long and complicated relationship.”
Shiver. The ANC passed a resolution condemning Philly P’s.
The North Face: As we noted last week, Georgetown is getting its own North Face store.
The commissioners seemed pleased the store was coming to Georgetown. However, ANC Commissioners were not enthusiastic about the bright red sign that usually comes with these stores. Commissioners Starrels and Skelesy were especially critical of the “excessively” red nature of the sign.
But don’t let a headline fool you. The sign was the only contested aspect of the new store. According to the North Face rep, the store is set to open in three months—provided the Old Georgetown Board gives it the go-ahead this Thursday. Godspeed, TNF.
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Tonight, Georgetown’s Advisory Neighborhood Comission 2E approved the design the owners of 1229 Wisconsin Ave submitted for an Apple store—again.
Yes, this is the fifth time the would-be Apple store has had to appear before the ANC. They will now go on to present to the Old Georgetown Board, that un-bastion of democracy which rejected Apple’s proposed designs a fourth time last month, prompting speculation that Georgetown would lose its little apple.
The ANC unanimously ratified an amendment by Commissioner Charles Eason stating they “reacted favorably to the design … [and they] have no objections to the design.”
Very few (and rather inconsequential) changes were made the proposal that was presented last month. The Commissioners appeared sick of talking about the Apple store and recommended that the OGB accept Apple’s proposal this time around.
So it’s back to the Old Georgetown drawing Board! (And you thought our apple puns were bad). We’ll have the entire ANC roundup for you tomorrow morning!
Photo taken from Flickr user Darren Hester under a Creative Commons license.
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