Hine Junior High Site
Note: Stanton-Eastbanc Developers have created a website for the Hine Project with links to the design, HPRB submissions, etc. Click on this address: http://www.hineschool.com/
OVERVIEW OF HISTORIC PRESERVATION REVIEW BOARD PROCESS
Comments at April 5 Meeting of Presentation of Hine School Plans
• Up to this point the chief city player in the Hine School redevelopment process has been the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development which issued the Request For Proposals, selected the developer, and negotiated the agreement. That office will keep watch on the project as it progresses. The City Council approved the selection of the developer and the agreement.
• The project moves now to consideration by the city’s Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) since the site is within the Capitol Hill Historic District. The Zoning Commission will consider the project later to address the rezoning request, Planned Unit Development issues http://bit.ly/e7WuE2 , and other zoning-related matters.
• Because this is new construction rather than an alteration of an existing building, the HPRB will focus on the compatibility of the project with the character of the historic district as it conducts its review. The city’s Guideline on New Construction in Historic Districts explains some of the terms and concepts that are applicable in considering projects. The Guideline was written using a single building in a historic district as the example. Since the Hine project deals with many buildings and a site plan, this is much more complex than the example given but concepts such as scale, proportion, setback, rhythm, size, height, materials remain relevant.
• This is a concept review which allows for a discussion about the direction of the project – its general architectural expression, the site plan, massing – before the applicants commit to the expensive detailed permit drawings. It is an opportunity for the HPRB to understand the project, to consider the historic preservation issues involved, to hear comments from the community, and then to help shape the project to meet the criteria for compatibility.
The way it all works:
• What we will see this evening will be essentially what the HPRB will be discussing on the 28th. Everyone will be on the same page, so that when you read the staff report later this month, you can relate it to the drawings or if you send in comments to the HPRB, members can relate those comments to the plans. I understand the Hine School website will be updated Thursday the 7th so that everyone will be able to study the same set of plans.
• The next city deadline is Wednesday, April 20, which is the date by which the city’s Historic Preservation Office must receive letters if they are to be included in the Board packets which are sent to HPRB members a week before their meeting and includes relevant information on each case. A representative of an ANC or other organization as well as community members are also welcome to give brief comments at the meeting. On the CHRS website there is a document titled “Tips for Presentations”. It gives hints about comments delivered in person at hearings but the advice is also relevant to letters.
• Expect that a staff report and timed agenda will be posted on the Historic Preservation Office website (http://preservation.dc.gov), likely some time on Friday, April 22. The staff report summarizes information about the project, frames the historic preservation issues, and makes recommendations. It provides the basis for HPRB discussion.
• Since the Board will be looking for compatibility with the character of the historic district, the context becomes more than simply the buildings immediately next to the project. Capitol Hill is a very diverse historic district and development patterns throughout the historic district are relevant. The Board will also probably be aware of a number of goals included in the city’s Comprehensive Plan which talks about transit-oriented development and affordable housing as well as protecting the character of the historic district. These are all, to some degree, part of the discussion.
• At HPRB’s April 28 meeting there will probably be an emphasis on the “big picture” items -- design principles such as the site plan, setbacks, orientation, scale, massing, height and general architectural expression. The Board may indicate areas that need to be restudied as well as areas that it feels are moving in the right direction.
• Topics such as loss of light and air, parking, and traffic are zoning issues and are not part of the Historic Preservation law so, as important as they are, the HPRB does not address those issues but they will be considered by the Zoning Commission.
• After the HPRB provides its feedback at the April 28 meeting, the developers and their design team will study, reconsider, react to the Board’s comments, and refine the project before bringing it back to the HPRB for further consideration, most likely in June.
• At some point, the Board will be satisfied with the shape, general direction and architectural expressions of the project and will approve the concept as consistent with the Historic Preservation Act, with details and final approval delegated to the staff. And then the project moves to the Zoning Commission.
Chair, Historic Preservation Committee
With the formal submission of plans to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) by the development team of Stanton-Eastbanc, the redevelopment of the Hine School site at Seventh and Pennsylvania SE enters a new phase – review of the proposal for compatibility with the character of the Capitol Hill Historic District. It is important to remember that the current proposal is only the first iteration and will certainly evolve as the HPRB considers this concept. After HPRB has given conceptual approval, the project must go through the zoning review process before the Zoning Commission.
HPRB’s attention in initial review will likely be focused on the larger-scale elements of the project – site plan, general architectural character, massing, setback from the street, scale and height. If past experience guides, the project will return to the Board as these elements are refined in response to comments and as other design features that affect compatibility are included, such as materials, color, proportion, rhythm, details, ornamentation and landscape features. In addition to welcoming the comments of the ANC and other community groups, the Historic Preservation Review Board appreciates the perspectives of individuals as well. The Board’s decisions are informed by the city’s Historic Preservation Law, associated Guidelines, a project’s specific context, and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards. (Standard #9 is particularly relevant in this case.) Input from citizens is a part of the process.
Because a community and a city do not often have the challenge of redeveloping such a large area in the middle of an established historic district, CHRS is devoting this section of its web site to helping its members and other residents understand and participate in the review process. You will find links to a number of resources, such as :
Based on phone calls and conversations with residents over the past several weeks, we feel many people have questions about the Historic Preservation review process, particularly for this large project that will also be considered later by the Zoning Commission as a Planned Unit Development (PUD). We would like to address some of those questions and will keep adding more information to this site.
Finally, as always, CHRS encourages its members to contact us with your questions and thoughts [CapHRS@aol.com; 202-543-0425].
Does the History of the Capitol Hill Historic District
Tell Us about
a difficult mandate to
meet: it must be “compatible with the character of the
necessarily duplicating existing buildings.
It must respect its particular environment while
its own time. DC’s historic
aren’t meant to be embalmed at a certain point in time, yet
historic, cultural and physical attributes must be protected
enhanced. One of the basic
compatibility is demonstrating an understanding of the
context of the
whether the context is simply a few neighboring buildings,
blocks of a
historic district, or an entire neighborhood.
For a project the size of the Hine School site,
looking at the
development of the neighborhood is an important element in
understanding the neighborhood
About five years ago, in considering a project in the 1200 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, CHRS’s Historic Preservation Committee looked at the development along the Avenue, not only what still remains but also what had been taken down. It was a vivid reminder that what we now know as the Capitol Hill Historic District has been constantly changing, not only in size of buildings but also in styles of buildings. The “contemporary” buildings of the 1880s were the bay-fronted Queen Anne houses or the Romanesque Revival house with a tower. They replaced the “contemporary” flat-front Italianate and the side-gable “federal” buildings of earlier decades. By 1910 and 1920, Wardman-style porch-front houses celebrated the latest “contemporary” styles and were built both as single houses and in long rows. Large apartment houses joined the mix, as well as department stores and movie theaters.
taking a look at
Pennsylvania Avenue both now and through old maps,
Sanborn map (http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/map_item.pl;
we can gain a sense of the
changes over time. The
Avenue spine through the historic district is a sort of
all along the avenue with the sides of the avenue compressed
houses, stores, and apartments built close to the avenue and
avenues intersect, open space and longer vistas appear.
Some of the most iconic buildings of the nation form the backdrop of our community and provide a dramatic contrast to the Historic District. Many of the residential blocks closest to the Capitol were totally cleared as new buildings were built for the Capitol complex. Included in the sweep of demolition were both early Federal houses and later larger buildings such as the Butler Mansion, which was a four-story granite duplex mansion that stood next to the equally imposing three-story Coast and Geodetic Survey building at Independence [then known as B Street] and New Jersey avenues, SE.
green that open up
along Pennsylvania Avenue where a diagonal avenue – in this
Avenue – crosses Pennsylvania. Stately
houses predominate, used mostly for dwellings.
Today, there is later infill on the north of four-story apartment buildings and
south another apartment house and a modern church with
spire. An 1890s red-brick
church sits on a high hill
and contributes its own presence in the SW corner of the
3. 600 Block of Pennsylvania Avenue:
Another one of
stretches” where, in 1903, the
square of park (reservations)
bisected by both Pennsylvania and South Carolina avenues
for Wallach School, Towers School, and Eastern High School.
When built in 1864 facing
between 7th and 8th, Wallach School
modern school building, large enough for 600 students.
Designed by Adolph Cluss, architect of
Eastern Market, and his partner Joseph Kammerheuber, the
classrooms with 15-foot ceilings and innovative ventilation
techniques. (Following 19th
boys and girls had separate classrooms.)
Towers School was built in 1887 on the NE corner (8th
streets) of the same square and Eastern High School was
built on the NW
(7th & C streets) in 1892.
These two were combined to form the first Hine Junior
1929. All three historic
demolished c. 1950 and replaced by the present Hine Junior
playgrounds. Interestingly, the four-story wing of Hine
stands at 58’,
a little lower than the roof height of the three-story
Elegant two- and three-story tall houses line D Street along the north side of the park square; the Grace Baptist Church and two-story houses are on the east, and two- and three-story buildings used mostly as dwellings in 1903 make the southern boundary. In 1922, the Southeast Library was built on the high ground to the west and around the same time the three-story red-brick building at the SW corner of 7th and Pennsylvania was replaced by a one-story Art Deco Peoples Drug Store. The four-story Haines Department Store, built in 1892, occupies the SE corner of 8th and Pennsylvania. The most dramatic change, apart from the demolition of the Adoph Cluss-designed Wallach School and the other school buildings, was the closing of South Carolina Avenue from 7th to 9th and the building of the Eastern Market Metro station, transforming relatively quiet, leafy green spaces into open plazas bustling with residents, commuters and visitors using the Metro, buses, bikes, and taxis.
Hospital (900 block) was a row of 14 two-story
bay-front houses while in the 1000 block there was a row of
both flat-front and bay front. These
blocks remain much the same as they were in 1903, except for
House, a five-story condo at the corner of 11th,
replaced a Shell station which had earlier replaced five of
returning that corner to approximately the same height as it
The Amoco station on the south, just west of the hospital, occupies the site of a very early tavern, which later became a substantial private home and garden and then a beer garden before it was torn down.
by submitting a pre-hearing statement
outlining your positions and concerns. You can
elaborate at a
hearing with illustrations or other material.
However, if the
materials that you are presenting are complex, commission,
council members often appreciate more time to become
familiar with them
before a hearing. Also, at some hearings there may
be a time
limit of 2 – 3 minutes, so you may not be able to say
2. Be specific about the issues that are troublesome. Don’t expect a board or commission member to know what you mean when you say, “It’s just so ugly. I don’t want to see that every morning.” “It’s just too #@% big” is also not very helpful. They can’t respond to such vague comments and need you to be more specific about your concerns. For example, “It would be three stories taller than any other building in the historic district” or “The proposed addition is twice as large as the existing house” would give them a context for your concern.
3. Use photographs or other illustrations to help you make your points when possible. Sometimes it is difficult to explain exactly what your concerns are, what similar projects you think are successful, or what elements of a building should be re-studied. You don’t have to propose a solution but you do need to be as precise as possible about the problem.
4. Be civil. Board members can’t solve outstanding neighborhood quarrels. Personal attacks on applicants or other parties simply makes people nervous and uncomfortable, undercutting your effectiveness.
5. Know the types of issues that a board or commission may address. It’s no use talking to the Historic Preservation Review Board about parking, traffic concerns, or intended uses. Likewise, the Zoning Commission does not consider architectural style or façade materials.
6. Be aware that there may be a time limit on comments so that everyone can speak. Boards, commissions, and council members welcome comments from an individual presenting the comments of a group and sometimes allow such a representative a few more minutes. It is important to emphasize your most important points first but you may also wish to associate yourself with comments made by others, freeing time to highlight other considerations. Avoid simply repeating what has already been said.
(Adapted from Tips for Presentations distributed at “Contemporary and Compatible: A Symposium on Contextual Modern Design in Historic Neighborhoods” sponsored by the Historic Districts Coalition, Historic Preservation Office and National Trust for Historic Preservation in March 2009)For a copy to print click here
Please join me for our second community meeting and conversation about the future of the Hine Jr. High site. At our first meeting, over 200 neighbors attended to share their ideas and priorities in creating a shared vision for the future use of this site. You can read a summary report of this first meeting by visiting my website: http://www.tommywells.org/content/view/404/30/.
A significant number of residents highlighted both a need to create useable green and open space, as well as integrate any future redevelopment with our Historic Eastern Market and adjacent Metro station. For our 2nd community meeting, I’ve arranged for a presentation and discussion on Eastern Market Metro Plaza redevelopment plans, followed by a discussion to help us refine the list of community amenities and priorities you generated at our earlier meeting.
Because of Hine’s closure and the building being vacated, our meeting will be held at nearby Tyler Elementary (more details below). And as before, we will be joined by representatives from the District’s Office of Planning, Deputy Mayor for Education, and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.
2nd Community Meeting: The
Future of Hine Junior
Tuesday, July 22, 2008, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Tyler Elementary School Auditorium, 1001 G Street, SE
I appreciate your continued input in shaping how we move forward. If you have any questions about this meeting, please feel free to give me a call at 202-724-8072.
Tommy Wells, Councilmember, Ward 6
by Gary Peterson
The community meeting on the future use of Hine Junior High School, hosted by Councilmember Tommy Wells, took place on April 30, 2008. Although no official count was made, there were over 100 people present. Neil Albert, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, attended the meeting. Wells made a brief statement about the closing of Hine and asked for ideas for what to do with the site. The audience was then divided into small working groups to propose ideas for the use of the site. Each group was then asked to report on its recommendations.
Several points of consensus were clear from the reports:
Accompanying this story is a draft plan
that achieves some of
the ideas. This does not reflect all of the ideas, nor is it
decision or recommendation. There will soon be another
meeting to discuss the next actions regarding the site.
School Closure Announced
by Gary Peterson
CHRS has joined ANC6B in attempting to insure that the future use of the Hine School site is compatible with the neighborhood and that those responsible for making that decision take into account the concerns of the community.
On February 1, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Chancellor Michelle Rhee announced the final school closure recommendations. In Ward 6, three schools are on the final list of recommended closures; Hine Junior High School is the only Capitol Hill school slated to be closed. On the same day, Councilmember Tommy Wells announced his support for the school closures and asked community organizations to make recommendations as to the future use of the Hine site. ANC6B quickly passed a resolution stating that any future use of the site should match the scale and character of the surrounding neighborhood and include community amenities.
At the February 19 board meeting, the CHRS Board passed the following resolution:
“CHRS supports the closing and then demolition of Hine School and development of the site in coordination with the Town Center development of the Eastern Market Metro Plaza. Making Eastern Market Metro the town square connecting Seventh and Eighth Streets will link the Natatorium and the Eastern Market on the North with the Navy Yard on the South. Any development of the Hine site must be consistent with the character of the Capitol Hill Historic District and must respect existing heights, density and uses. Any development proposal should:
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