The Citizens Association of Georgetown is alarmed by plans that have been proposed for a new structure to replace the 19th-century core of the Neam’s Market building at 3217 P St. NW. The market is situated in the heart of the nationally designated Georgetown Historic District, and the proposed modification of the structure lacks any reference to Georgetown.
The size, scale and design are visually incompatible with the immediate neighborhood. The U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s standards for rehabilitation recommend that additions to historic buildings, as well as adjacent new construction, be compatible with the historic setting. The proposed new construction increases the height of the structure to four stories plus a penthouse, capped by a mansard roof and topped with a conical roof for a total of 85 feet. The adjacent townhouses are two stories in height.
The project appears to demolish a substantial portion of the existing building, including a part constructed before 1950, which requires that the Mayor’s Agent for Historic Preservation must determine whether the proposed project is of special merit. As proposed, the project seems unlikely to meet any of the several criteria.
The Citizens Association of Georgetown opposes this project as proposed without reservation. We were relieved to learn late Tuesday that the developer has requested that the Neam’s project be removed from the Old Georgetown Board’s July agenda.
— Bob vom Eigen and Walter Groszyk Jr.