Citizens Association of Georgetown: Oct. 11, 2017

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The West Heating Plant is a vacant industrial building at 29th and K streets NW. (Brian Kapur/The Current/April 2015)

The Citizens Association of Georgetown is working to adopt a resolution that our board will vote upon at its Oct. 24 meeting. The resolution will support the application for demolition of much of the West Heating Plant. The demolition is necessary for the new David Adjaye design to be built.

The DC Preservation League is seeking designation of the existing plant as a District landmark. Such a designation could impede the planned redevelopment of the site. The league’s previous application for a landmark designation was rejected over two years ago. Nothing has changed in the interim. The overwhelming consensus of the Georgetown community is to proceed with this redevelopment, and our association views any attempt at landmark designation as little more than an obstructionist maneuver. Neither the Preservation League nor anyone else has identified a party interested in acquiring and preserving the plant. Before the Levy Group won control of the site at auction, the U.S. General Services Administration provided other federal agencies, the District government and various nonprofits with the opportunity to acquire the plant at little or no cost, and all declined.

The good news is that the Commission of Fine Arts has approved the project’s design, and the Levy Group will go before D.C.’s Historic Preservation Review Board on Nov. 2. The D.C. Mayor’s Agent for Historic Preservation will subsequently determine whether demolition of the structure should be allowed under D.C. law. The public hearing before the Mayor’s Agent should occur early in 2018. We are hopefully nearing the end of the long journey.

— Bob vom Eigen