Letter to the Editor: Crumbling West Heating Plant shouldn’t be preserved

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The West Heating Plant is located at 29th and K streets NW. (Brian Kapur/The Current/April 2015)
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The DC Preservation League continues its purposeless efforts to preserve the crumbling West Heating Plant eyesore.

At the time of its construction, the West Heating Plant design was deemed “minimalist” and “utilitarian” — polite media words indicating a design reflecting war-era austerity. The facility was never intended to achieve a noteworthy architecture aesthetic; the public mood at the time was not one to spend significant monies on a power generation plant.

The plant has never connected in design to either the historic government or Georgetown residential areas of the city. It was “monumental” (an unavoidable eyesore) from day one, and it is now a deteriorating blight on the city.

The intellectual blather that continues in attempts to preserve a structure better suited to being a gun emplacement defending the Normandy coast during World War II should stop.

There is no victory to be won in an administrative board decision to preserve it — such would be a hollow victory that will cause it to remain for decades forward the unused crumbling shell of the unsightly power plant it always was.

The DC Preservation League should get off its highbrow high horse and enable the purposeful and aesthetically pleasing design put forward by the developers to move forward.

Patrick Tisdale, Georgetown