May 4, 2006

Chancery of Israel
(File Number 1841)

The Commission commented favorably on the concept site and building plans for a 2,767-square-foot, three-story addition to the Chancery of Israel located in the International Center at Connecticut Avenue and Van Ness Streets, N.W.

The proposed structure will attach to the northwest corner of the existing chancery and will include decorative elements and site improvements. An internally illuminated, artistically etched glass curtain will form the building’s exterior. Corner segments of the existing brick security wall will be replaced by an engraved, curved metal wall.

The Commission advised the chancery to submit justification and waiver requests for the following minor deviations from NCPC’s Development Controls for the Chancery Section of the International Center of the District of Columbia in its forthcoming preliminary submission:

• Exceeding the maximum allowable building occupancy area.
• Locating buildings on the property line and within the setback area.
• Locating the proposed curved metal wall and interpreted temple foundation outside of the chancery property line and within the property of the U.S. Department of State.
The preliminary submission must include DOS permission for the construction of the proposed metal wall and temple foundations on its property; additional lighting information and foot candle modeling describing the illumination of the proposed addition; and documentation of compliance with the Commission’s

Environmental and Historic Preservation Policies and Procedures (69 FR 41299), as updated April 1, 2004. The Commission also encouraged the applicant to minimize existing tree disturbance and to depict to existing and proposed tree canopy and associated features in its preliminary final submission.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


Office of Personnel Management
(File Number 6665)

The Commission comments favorably on the concept site and building plans for perimeter security for the Office of Personnel Management’s Theodore Roosevelt Building located at 1900 E Street, NW.

The Commission recommended that the applicant integrate the 30-foot-high air intake enclosures flanking the south entrance into the architecture of the building design; modify the design of the proposed security elements crossing the south entrance plaza on Virginia Avenue to accommodate visual and public access; replace the proposed bollards located in the green space of the north plaza on E Street with benches, or relocate the line of proposed plaza benches and bollards north to align with the back edge of the raised planters; ensure that the perimeter fence along Virginia Avenue is designed to protect the roots of existing trees; integrate the proposed security wall along 19th Street into the landscape; and provide multiple openings through proposed continuous perimeter barriers to allow public access into the building yard.

The Commission also advised the applicant that if the project as proposed does not meet any of the Commission’s criteria for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act, an environmental assessment may be required to accompany the preliminary submission.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


Lafayette Building
(File Number 6666)

The Commission approves preliminary building plans for extensive renovations to modernize the Lafayette Building located at 811 Vermont Avenue, NW. The proposed renovation will refurbish interior and external elements; upgrade building systems to bring the structure to GSA class A status; and replace temporary security features with permanent elements.

The Commission recommends that in further development for perimeter security GSA diversify hardened streetscape elements along Vermont Avenue; coordinate the design with structures on the other side of Vermont Avenue; preserve the building’s historic retail uses along 15th street; work with retail tenants and the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) to ensure that security elements do not impede the area’s commerce and vitality; coordinate with the adjacent property owner to plan for perimeter security at the public alley from 15th Street; provide an alternative design for moving the security elements toward the curb line; and work with the District Department of Transportation to integrate the use of the parking meters into the bollard line.

The Commission also advised the applicant that if the perimeter security portion of the project as proposed does not meet any of the Commission’s criteria for exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act, an environmental assessment may be required with the preliminary submission.

See the Commission Action and Staff Recommendation


Consent Calendar: The Commission voted on Consent Calendar items without staff presentations or public testimony.

Delegated Decisions: Projects for which the Commission delegated decision-making authority to the Chairman, Executive Committee, or Executive Director.