Historic Preservation – 717 H St.
DESIGN BRIEF | December 2020
Historic Preservation – 717 H St.
You can find 717 H St., a future retail/boutique office project, on a prominent corner in Washington DC’s Chinatown section of the Downtown Historic District. Construction is projected to start in early 2021 on the rehabilitation of what was originally three separate mid-to-late nineteenth century brick buildings. MV+A has been working with the real estate investment firm L3 Capital, who purchased the site in 2019 to rehabilitate the outdated structure and create a vibrant mixed-use building. The three original brick buildings had, in fact, previously been combined into one structure and significantly modified in the interior, with only minor changes to the facades. The circa 1868 Italianate rowhouse facing H St. has a simple facade with a bracketed cornice, while the circa 1888 Queen Anne rowhouse on the corner of 8th and H St. NW is far more exuberant – with decorative brickwork, terra cotta panels, bay windows, and a prominent round tower on the corner. The third building in the assemblage is a modest two-story structure facing 8th St., which was built circa 1885 as a stable building.
Rendering of the H and 8th St. corner*
Having been constructed at different times and with various additions and alterations over time, MV+A’s project scope includes leveling floors and grading for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access, restoration of the exterior facades, and a complete utility and code upgrade. The ground floor will contain one to two retail spaces, which will take advantage of the very wide sidewalk on 8th St., creating a new entrance to what will become second and third floor office spaces.
Restored H St. facade with new retail entrance storefronts*
8th St. view with retail and office entrances, along with third floor office addition with outdoor terrace*
The rehabilitation project, including a small addition on top of the stable building, has already gone through full Historic Preservation Review Board and Chinatown approvals. The third floor addition will have an outdoor terrace and allow access to the office floors from a new elevator and 8th St. lobby. The entrance to the office lobby includes a custom metal screen wall incorporating Chinese characters and a contemporary graphic of the 717 H project name. *Renderings provided by OKW Architects
New third floor addition over original stable building
Office lobby entrance on 8th St. with decorative screen wall
Historic Preservation Award – Chapman Stables
Last month, MV+A was awarded a DC Preservation League’s 2020 District of Columbia Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. Working with Studio Twenty Seven Architecture and Four Points Development, MV+A prepared a Preservation Plan for the award-winning project, Chapman Stables.
MV+A was brought on to the Chapman Stables project team at the beginning of design to evaluate the historic structure and prepare a Preservation Plan. Our Plan guided the design and rehabilitation of the historic building features for the restored condominium community located in the heart of Truxton Circle in Washington, DC. In the image video link below from the Preservation League’s virtual award ceremony, Senior Associate, Eleanor Krause, discusses the scope and history of the project.
View the 2020 District of Columbia Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation video here.
Completed Chapman Stables Condominium
Before photograph of the Chapman Stables North St. facade