Archive for the Commercial Category

Architectural Details on Mitchell Gold Building

Posted in Art Deco, Commercial, Shaw with tags , on July 22, 2009 by Kent

Architectural details on 1520 14th StreetI’ve commented on the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams building before, located at 1520 14th Street. But I wanted to point out some details that I really like.

The first is the Egyptian inspired decoration on the exterior, which I find interesting for a former automobile dealership. This would definitely date the building to sometime after 1922 when the discovery by Howard Carter of Tutankhamun’s tomb received worldwide press coverage and sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt.
Architectural details on 1520 14th Street

The other detail I really like is the poured concrete ceiling on the interior.
Architectural details on 1520 14th Street

There is a lot of nice detail there … so next time you’re in the area or happen to go in you might want to enjoy the building as well as the furniture.l


Mayer Mitchell Building Illuminated Again

Posted in Commercial on May 22, 2009 by Kent

Mayer Mitchell BuildingWhen the Mayer Mitchell Building at 251 H Street, NW, was first completed and occupied, it displayed this long streak of light that looked like a backward “7” when you saw it from the south.

I had to say, at the time, I really didn’t like it. I found the lighting to be harsh … I really don’t like bad lighting.

Then, one day last fall, the lights went off. Oddly, I grew to miss them. It became a bigger distraction not having the building lit now that I knew it was supposed to be.

Imagine my surprise to find the building was illuminated again last night. I love it, and hope they don’t ever turn them off again.

Then and Then and Now

Posted in Commercial, Dupont Circle, Residences, Then and Now on May 13, 2009 by Kent

Hopkins-Miller house, Dupont CircleThen: The Hopkins-Miller house, south side of Dupont Circle between Connecticut and Massachusetts Avenues, NW. Front facade, ca. 1890. The structure was a double house, Hopkins on Massachusetts and Miller on Connecticut.

Dupont National Bank buildingAnd Then: The Dupont National Bank building ca. 1925. The bank building replaced the Miller house in 1912. You can just see  the Hopkins house to the left of the image.

Suntrust DupontNow: The bank is still there but now is a Suntrust. The Hopkins house and other residential homes near the bank have been razed.

The bank building was built at an estimated cost of $50,000 and featured a complex design of different colored bricks with granite trim and a clay tile roof. TheInTowner has a more complete history that they published on Dec. 8, 2008. As for me, people who read my earlier post on painted brick buildings know that it is something I completely disagree with. The thought of a multicolored and sophisticated brick design under bright yellow paint makes me cringe.

Rock Creek Market Coming Soon

Posted in Commercial, Park View, Petworth, Renovation and Restoration on May 12, 2009 by Kent

Rock Creek MarketWe now know the name of the store coming to the site of Rock Creek Church Rd & Warder — Rock Creek Market.

This confirms what I learned earlier about it not being a chain, but rather, an upscale convenience store. Although, if they are calling it a “market” I’m not sure convenience store will be an apt description either. I’ll keep folks posted as they get nearer to opening.Rock Creek Market

Park View/Petworth CVS: A Few More Details

Posted in Commercial, Park View, Petworth on May 7, 2009 by Kent

proposed-park-view-cvsLast Thursday, Petworth News announced that CVS had signed a lease with LaKritz Adler for the property they will be developing at the intersection of  Georgia and New Hampshire Aves.

I received the following release today, which is similar to the one posted last week: “LaKritz Adler is pleased to announce that we have signed a lease with CVS to bring a new 10,000+ square-foot neighborhood pharmacy to the Parkview and North Columbia Heights communities at the corner of Georgia and New Hampshire Avenues.  The CVS will break ground in fall 2009 and open for business in late spring 2010.  LaKritz Adler would like to thank Councilmember Jim Graham for his overwhelming assistance in helping get this important Ward One gateway site redeveloped.”

In addition to the building being 10,000+ square-feet, I’ve also been able to confirm that the structure will NOT have a drive through, and that the rear of the building will be landscaped (as in, the dumpsters will not be in public view). You can also see what this cite looked like in 1965 at my earlier post.

Then and Now: 11th & F, NW

Posted in Commercial, Penn Quarter, Then and Now with tags , on April 29, 2009 by Kent

w b moses-sonsThen: ca. 1910, the W.B. Moses & Sons building. W.B. Moses moved to Washington from Philadelphia during the Civil War, and within 50 years established the largest exclusively retail furniture, carpet, and drapery business in America. W.B. Moses settled on the corner of 11th and F in 1884, and the building was added on to in  1887, 1889, 1898, and 1906.

0084Now: Yet another, largely nondescript office building.

The Manhattan Laundry

Posted in Art Deco, Columbia Heights, Commercial, Shaw on April 28, 2009 by Kent

Manhattan LaundryAn exception for Washington, the Manhattan Laundry is a rare example of art moderne architecture in the city. Located at 1326 Florida Avenue, NW, the Manhattan Laundry was designed by architect Bedford Brown, IV, in 1935.

manhattan-windowIts facade displays certain motifs characteristic of contemporary commercial buildings, including elegant bandings of enameled metal that mimic traditional architectural devices as a layered architrave at the roof level, pilasters, and rustication. The facade was further enriched by the use of colored green and yellow enameled metal panels of water lilies above the second floor windows and a Greek Key design around the main entrance.

Clothes were laundered and dry cleaned on the first and second floors, the third floor was used by the clerical staff, who worked in rooms divided by walls of small, translucent glass blocks.

The building was abandoned by the company in 1973 and was badly vandalized soon afterward. It was further damaged by fire in 1978 and scheduled for demolition in 1979.meridian-doorway  Fortunately, it was saved and restored in 1987 and is now the Meridian Public Charter School.manhattan-laundry-interior1