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Monday, August 20, 2012

WBJ: DC Reviewing Bids for 1300 H Street

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The Washington Business Journal has the latest on the developers who seek the former R. L. Christian Library site.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

i hope they keep the structure, but i doubt it'll happen..

Jaqen H'ghar said...

4:10,

Are you being facetious? I don't see anything redeeming about that building. It's unique... uniquely ugly.

Anonymous said...

No I wasn't kidding. I think it looks cool. What's so ugly about it?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon 4:10 - it's a neat structure. I'd love for it to be kept.

Jaqen H'ghar said...

I am not trying to incite anything here but my opinion usually is that "form follows function"

I think the structure makes poor use of the space it occupies. The layout appears to have been inspired some misguided octagon philosophy and it seems to have a small amount of usable space for a building that sits on a 10,000 square foot lot. There's a useless inset for that needlessly tall triangular sign. The strange curved windows currently full of books don't seem to make much sense either.

It does't have a very welcoming entrance. The door seems like kind of an afterthought randomly placed on one of the flat walls. The rain gutters appear to be an afterthought as well, with the downspouts reaching back from the overhangs.

I have never been inside, but the ceilings appear to be low. I would hope the new building would have at least 10 foot ceilings on the ground level.

And it doesn't seem to make good use of any outdoor space.

“When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty........ but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”
― Richard Buckminster Fuller










Anonymous said...

Love that scratched plexiglas! Call the Capitol Hill Historical Society, I 'm sure that they will want to preserve it.

Anonymous said...

That building is a travesty and should be razed as soon as something suitable for the site is selected.

It looks like some sort of forgotten temporary sno-cone stand from some bygone carnival. Jeebus, I bet some hipsters love it exactly for that reason.

heyktb said...

if they're considering bids from those condo developers listed, i think it is a safe bet that the original structure, which i agree is interesting but not salvageable, will NOT be a part of the new construction.Just hope there is ground floor RETAIL.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes! Ground floor retail! And maybe granite countertops and stainless steel appliances? One can dream!

Anonymous said...

I hope they let me buy the structure. I think it's cool as shit. Y'all can go to hell with your opinions.

roxanneismyalterego said...

Unless I'm mistaken, these "community libraries" or kiosks were never designed to be long-standing structures with great historic value. It's not like preserving the "architecture" is akin to preserving some great piece of DC history. There are multiple ones sitting across the city, all in disrepair, all ugly as sin.

Anonymous said...

laughing at all the hatred for this building...however, I would be willing to bet that it would be deemed "the coolest thing since sliced bread" if it served Starbucks coffee.

Anonymous said...

someone should start a petition to save the god damn building. who's with me?

Anonymous said...

I understand that RL Christian was a community activist who tangled with drug dealers in the neighborhood. Since he (or she?) helped make H Street more livable for all the bars and businesses to sprout up here, I'd hope that individual's name figures into whatever property springs up there (not sure how "The Christian" would work as a condo name, but maybe a plaque detailing RL Christian's contribution to the community could go up somewhere?).

Super H said...

This ugly thing can't disappear fast enough. Gimee a bulldozer and I take care of RL Christian, H Street Connection, the H Street Storage, and Autozone in one swoop.

Trinidaddy2 said...

omg condos hipsters lofts mixed-use ironic beards lattes outdoor cafes organic diversity arts local farm-to-table AHHHHHH i just splooged myself.

Anonymous said...

we're turning into portland

Anonymous said...

Could have had a buiding with a library many years ago, but the Christian family fought it, and wanted to save the R. L. Christian library. They didn't want to cheapen his name by putting the RL Christian name on mere housing. Haven't seen them in the neighborhood since then.

Anonymous said...

Thought this place could be an awesome diner and a perfect location for it. It could use some polish but not clear why people seem so offended by its aesthetic and it looks better than the one on Kirby St. I'd rather see H St Connection torn down before this building is. Please no mixed income condos....

Anonymous said...

Nah...get rid of that eyesore. But I agree on "no mixed income condos." Market rate all the way!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't every building have include a percentage of "affordable" units these days? Especially since this is city owned land, I'm pretty sure that they will be required to have some units set aside.

Anonymous said...

I second the request for a Polish Diner. Kielbasa Pankcakes!

Anonymous said...

I second the request for a Polish themed Diner. Kielbasa pancakes!

Anonymous said...

I wish it could revert to being a library during the year (yeah, right) the NE branch at Maryland and 7th will be closed for renovations. Next closest library is the one at Eastern Market, I think.

Alan Page said...

There's also a library up Benning Road, on the other side of the bridge, just past Minnesota. It's very nice and newly renovated, so nice I don't want people to know about it because the books I want are never checked out there when they're usually checked out all over the city. Ha!

Margaret Holwill @HStreetDC_ said...

The kiosk structure is not salvageable for any sensible use.
I've arranged two short-term leases for pop-up events there and had to pay DMPED the per diem cost for the electric bill based on the average monthly bill of $1300/mo. Yikes!
The structure can't be retrofitted to make it energy efficient.
It uses space heating/cooling, and the plumbing is shot. It was designed as a temporary structure and has outlived its useful life.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the structure ought to be kept - but moved elsewhere. Perhaps its structurally impossible to do. Is it historic? No. It is uniquely DC, however. How about those like those Little Tavern hamberger buildings which still dot the region (the Lil Pub near Eastern Market, the Subway Sandwich shop across from I Literri, SuperNails on H Street, Paolo's in Georgetown.) None of this is reason to prevent demolition of the building, I know, but still.

inked said...

8:13,
It is totally possible to move that building. The kiosk libraries were always intended to be both temporary and portable.

Colonel Sanders said...

Retail: we need a bocce supply center, a raw food vegan market, and a knot store. And some of those new pay toilets like they have in Paris.

Anonymous said...

The existing building is a pre-fabricated structure designed by portastructures industries and installed in the mid 1970s. There is an interesting summary of the history of the DC libary porta-kiosk program and a description of the building here:

http://www.dclibrary.org/node/733

I think its a cool building that could be repurposed for another use.