Celebrating Georgetown Architecture

While finishing our new website, we searched for an image that would capture the essence of Georgetown, where our firm has been based since we established it in 1989. This shot by architectural photographer Sam Kittner tells it all:

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This view, taken at the heart of Georgetown at M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, shows a beautiful small-town-scaled urban area with a healthy mix of shops, homes and small offices. Most of the buildings are old, dating from the late 1600s to the late 1800s.

Sam’s image is particularly fitting for us because we started our office in the very building from which it was taken: 3150 M Street.

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Our first office was on the second floor, above an iconic restaurant called Nathans. We’ve since relocated to Potomac Street, and Nathans is no longer, but we find ourselves back in the same building these days, hired to update it for its best use with three floors of commercial retail (basement, first and second), and an apartment on top.

To achieve this update, we will need to gut and redo the building, dig out the basement, and restore the exterior with street-front display cases like the building originally had. This photo was take in the 1920s:

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The project is typical of those we often do in Georgetown—creating viable retail interior spaces with residential units above them, while restoring the building exteriors to preserve them as required by the Historic overlays in the city.

Here is the working drawing for the updated design:

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This restoration work is done under the careful eye of the historical regulatory bodies that oversee the the protection and development of the area: The Old Georgetown Board and Historic Preservation Review Board.

We’re currently in the permitting stage, and construction is slated to begin in late 2015.

Helping give these fine old buildings another 100 years of viable life through restoration—while housing up-to-date commercial and residential spaces, keeps Georgetown alive.