One of the analytical things about the Nation’s Capital is that, clashing abounding earlier U. S. cities, Washington, D. C., never had any industry to allege of—unless you calculation the accomplish of hot air as an industry. In the Commune of Columbia, you don’t see those admirable 19th-century Italianate factories that dot the cityscapes of Boston, New York, Baltimore, Chicago—strong-boned, high-ceilinged brick edifices that catechumen into arresting attic apartments, condominiums, and mixed-use centers.
What Washington does accept ample is churches and added “religious locations” —by one count, 857, or one for every 758 residents. Until recently, the Way of the Cross Church, a Gothic Revival anatomy that dates to 1898, was amid them. Today, it is the Sanctuary, a handsome 30-unit abode circuitous at 819 D St., NE.
The Sanctuary may represent the beat of a new trend in Washington: the about-face of some of the city’s earlier churches—many of them amid in arising or already adorable neighborhoods—to hardly bare residential use.
Exterior of the Sanctuary, at 816 D St., NE, Washington, D. C. The aboriginal Ninth Artery Congregational Abbey dates from 1898. A three-story classroom addendum congenital in 1916 now includes townhouses.
The abbey and its adjoining addendum came on the bazaar in 2014. The aggregation had been brief to the Maryland suburbs, and the auction of the abbey helped them accounts architecture of a beyond architecture in Capitol Heights, Md. After some buying changes, the quarter-acre acreage came beneath ascendancy of The Rubin Group, in affiliation with absolute acreage accounts close Regua. Andrew T. Rubin, Principal in the family-owned firm, brought in Bill Bonstra, FAIA, LEED AP, Founder of Washington architecture close Bonstra | Haresign Architects, to advance the project.
In the advance of the abutting two years, Rubin and Bonstra would apprentice added than they anytime capital to apperceive about decrepit glass.
The aboriginal account on Rubin and Bonstra’s account was to access adapted zoning abatement to change the building’s use to residential. Parking was the neighbors’ cardinal one hot button. For years, bounded association had been inconvenienced by abbey associates demography up artery parking on Sundays and weeknights. After affair abundant times with the bounded Advisory Adjacency Commission and added borough groups, Rubin and Bonstra were able to argue the locals that the parking botheration would mostly go abroad already the abbey was confused to residential use—especially with bounded bus, train, and new H Artery trolley account in the neighborhood.
The added afflictive botheration had to do with the celebrated attributes of the neighborhood. Although the abbey was not a appointed landmark, because it was in the Capitol Hill Celebrated Commune and of a assertive age, it was accounted a “’contributing building” beneath the District’s celebrated canning guidelines. “Those barrio are what accord the commune its absolute character,” says Gretchen Pfaehler, AIA, a affiliate of the District’s Celebrated Canning Review Lath (HPRB).
Pfaehler, an Associate Partner at architecture close Beyer Blinder Belle, was Chair of the HPRB at the time the Sanctuary came beneath its purview. She was decidedly anxious about the decrepit bottle windows, a accountable in which she is an accustomed authority. Beneath the code, she says, the windows were advised “artistic elements” that contributed “important appearance and effect” to the church.
The appearance from the alarm belfry (which never had bells)—“now the accomplished abreast endemic appearance in D. C.,” according to developer Andrew T. Rubin.
That position clashed with Bonstra and Rubin’s admiration to accomplish the architecture added ambrosial to -to-be buyers by replacing clear-cut lites at eye akin with cellophane ones in some windows. “Stained bottle ability be acceptable for spirituality,” Bonstra says, “but back you alive in a building, you appetite to be able to attending out the windows.”
The Review Lath had denied two antecedent requests from developers who capital to alter accessory bottle with bright glass; both decisions were upheld on address to the abutting college authority. But they gave the Sanctuary aggregation a adventitious to accomplish the case for switching out the glass.
After administering an all-encompassing search, Bonstra and Rubin articular the bottle apology able they believed could advice them—Cumberland Decrepit Glass, Mechanicsburg, Pa. The 25-year-old flat is accepted by the Decrepit Bottle Association of America.
The architecture aggregation organized a armpit appointment with Pfaehler and assembly from the D. C. Celebrated Canning Office, the Capitol Hill Apology Society, and the Advisory Adjacency Commission. Cumberland’s President, Bryan Lerew, accustomed a mocked-up window that illustrated how the advance cast and accessory architecture could be preserved, alike if some lites were replaced with specialty cellophane glass.
It was a arbiter case of the capability of accurate mockups in architecture design. “The mockup did access us,” says Pfaehler. “It accustomed us to see the absolute ceramics in the adapted lighting.” Lerew had defined a German-made bottle (“Restover”) with a affectionate of afflicted exoteric ancillary for the bright lites. The mockup helped affected Pfaehler’s apropos about the burnish and reflectance of the bright bottle as beheld from the street; at the aforementioned time, the bottle provided the apparent afterimage Bonstra and Rubin were attractive for.
But the Review Lath was not done. “We advised anniversary window in detail to actuate how abundant bottle could be replaced after compromising the all-embracing ability of the window,” says Pfaehler. Back Bonstra asked permission to bite holes in a street-facing bank for new windows, the lath issued a absolute no. But they did acquiesce new windows on the rear of the abbey and some applicable windows for ventilation.
Following months of negotiation, the Review Lath accustomed the revisions to the windows, although Pfaehler was absolute that the accommodation activated alone to the Sanctuary and was not to beheld as antecedent setting.
Refurbishing the 132 windows took six of Cumberland’s technicians nine months, Lerew says. “The windows were abominably out of repair, and the advance had outlived its life,” he says. Cumberland craftsmen agilely preserved 75% of the aboriginal bottle and adequate all the aboriginal designs. The absolute amount of the glasswork, according to Rubin: about 10% of the absolute $15.1 actor architecture cost.
The 85-foot-tall alarm belfry bare above structural reinforcement. “We removed about four anxiety of the aboriginal bank all the way to the basement, again caked a 28-by-42-inch accurate cavalcade and laid engineered structural beams,” says Brian Lucey, Potomac Architecture Group’s Vice President of Operations.
Inserting the shaft for the new three-story KONE elevator amid the abbey and the old classroom addendum accepted afflictive for Potomac and structural architect Structura. Accurate in the addendum had to be demolished, basement placed about the foundations, and new footings laid. “We had to bank up anniversary accurate attic as we confused up, putting in new cinder block shaft walls to the roof,” says Lucey.
Potomac Architecture Group crews anxiously preserved ablaze accessories and aboriginal brick throughout the about 35,000-sf restoration. Note the adapted German-made cellophane bottle and the applicable windows, two appearance the developer and architecture aggregation formed adamantine to argue the Commune of Columbia Celebrated Canning Review Lath to approve.
“The window curve throughout the architecture assorted due to the differences in anatomy and purpose of the abbey and annex,” says Colin Drumright, Activity Architect, Bonstra | Haresign. “We congenital these differences into the active units by accepting double-height spaces and assorted attic elevations on the third floor.” Sloped basement in the choir attic was burst to accretion the able alignment, he notes.
Potomac accomplished the 34,693-sf job aftermost New Year’s Eve. By September, the 29 one- and two-bedroom units (440 to 1,900 sf) were awash out. The accommodation (two bedrooms/2.5 baths) went for $1,525,000, a address sales amount the city’s Northeast division had not apparent back 2008.
The Sanctuary accustomed an Award of Excellence in Celebrated Architecture from AIA Northern Virginia. Abutting month, it will be appear as a champ in Architecture Architecture Construction’s Reconstruction Awards.The about-face of the abbey had an about Damascene aftereffect on the participants. “We acquainted added like admiral of the architecture than developers,” says Rubin. “The abbey started cogent us what to do.”
PROJECT TEAM | THE SANCTUARYCLIENT The Rubin Group, in affiliation with Regua ARCHITECT Bonstra | Haresign Architects STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Structura CIVIL ENGINEER VIKA Capitol MECHANICAL ENGINEER Capitol Engineering Group GLASS CONSULTANT Cumberland Decrepit Glass GC Potomac Architecture Group
Plaster was removed from the walls in the capital stairwell (and elsewhere) to acknowledge the aboriginal brick. The board balustrade was restored.
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