Historic Preservation Awards

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Architects, planners, builders, preservationists, and many enthusiastic members of the public came out this past Thursday for the 2014 District of Columbia Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation at the DAR Constitution Hall. Hosted by the DC Office of Planning, Historic Preservation Office, and DC Preservation League, the awards recognized projects across the city that exemplified the best of historic preservation.

Before the program began, Katie Irwin of Quinn Evans Architects led tours of the lay light restoration in the DAR Library Reading Room—one of this year’s winning projects. What is now the reading room of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s famous genealogical library was originally built as an auditorium; it is connected to Constitution Hall. Large 9’x9’ leaded glass lay lights allow for natural illumination of the space (in photo above).

The event kicked off with remarks by Ellen McCarthy, Director of the Office of Planning, Mayor Vincent Gray, Edward Dunson, President of the DC Preservation League, and Lynn Forney Young, President General of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. All spoke about the positive role preservation pays in DC and many commented on the beauty of Constitution Hall.

To view short videos about each project, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN-Ku-lou7_1h8nndDElElA.

Photos from the event will be available soon on flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/14880935@N03/).


1925 6th Street NW: A labor-of-love homeowner project in the LeDroit Park Historic District. Rebecca Westcott

Arch Square, 801 7th Street NW: Rehabilitation and expansion of a signature corner in the Chinatown neighborhood of the Downtown Historic District. Douglas Development Corporation; McCaffery Interests; R2L: ARCHITECTS; Antunovich Associates; Winmar Construction; EHT Traceries, Inc.

Le Diplomate Restaurant, 1601 14th Street NW: Transformation of an abandoned 1920s laundry into an anchor restaurant along the 14Th Street corridor. Starr Restaurants; Stokes Architecture; Shawn Hausman Design; Brian Orter Lighting Design

Northern Exchange, 1401 R Street NW: Conversion of a vacant telephone exchange building into condominiums and retail on 14th Street NW. P.N. Hoffman & Associates, Inc.; Eric Colbert & Associates PC; Trevor Costa, Project Architect; EHT Traceries, Inc.

DAR Library Reading Room Lay Light Restoration Project, 1776 D Street NW: Restoration of extraordinary skylight roof in the former auditorium space of the DAR Headquarters complex.
Daughters of the American Revolution; Quinn Evans Architects; The Christman Company; Femenella & Associates, Inc.; Hutchinson United Rigging

Yuma Study Center/Convent of Bon Secours, 4101 Yuma Street NW: Renovation and tasteful expansion of a Tenleytown neighborhood signature landmark. Yuma Study Center; Quinn Evans
Architects; Forrester Construction Company; AtSite, Inc.; Tenleytown Historical Society

Meridian Public Charter School/Harrison School, 2120 13th Street NW: Renovation and contemporary addition to a Victorian-era school building in the U Street Historic District. Meridian Public Charter School; Bowie Gridley Architects; Forrester Construction Company; Brailsford & Dunlavey

St. Elizabeths Hospital Campus, 2701 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE: Recognition of the U.S. General Services Administration efforts at St. Elizabeths for both an archaeological project related to first phase construction, and preparation of a handsome and well-illustrated book, St. Elizabeths Hospital: A History. U.S. General Services Administration; Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.; Thomas Otto; The Louis Berger Group, Inc.

Francis L. Cardozo Senior High School, 1200 Clifton Street NW: Twenty-first century rehabilitation for a landmark school. District of Columbia Department of General Services; Hartman-Cox Architects; Grimm + Parker Architects; GCS-Sigal, LLC

Sherman Building Earthquake Recovery Project, 3700 North Capitol Street NW: Restoration and repair of extensive damage caused to the most significant building on the Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington campus. Armed Forces Retirement Home – Washington; Quinn Evans Architects; R. Bratti Associates, Inc.; The Christman Company; Hayles & Howe; Keast & Hood Company; Oak Grove Restoration Company; PRESERVE/scapes Consulting, LLC

Douglas Jemal: Mr. Jemal is responsible for many projects in Washington’s downtown that have served as the catalyst for the redevelopment of that area, including 7th Street Row in Chinatown, the old Woodward & Lothrop Department Store building, and other signature projects along F Street NW.

Ten projects were recognized ranging in size from an individual homeowner project to the archaeological study of the St. Elizabeths Hospital campus. They were presented by Gretchen Pfaehler, Chair of the Historic Preservation Review Board; Edward Dunson; Steve Callcott, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer; and Ellen McCarthy. Additionally, Douglas Jemal, founder and president of Douglas Development, received the lifetime achievement award for his efforts in historic preservation in downtown DC. Each project was highlighted by a short video explaining how it had come to be with excerpts from interviews of people involved.

Following the ceremony, guests and awardees mingled over sweet and savory treats and beverages in the lobby area of the Hall. It was a great opportunity to congratulate the winners of this year’s awards, discuss upcoming projects, and reconnect with old friends.