Saturday, November 30, 2013

neither the US Commission on Fine Arts nor the National Capital Planning Commission is involved with the McMillan development whatsoever

A question was raised if Bloomingdale's McMillan Sand Filtration site development project involves the two federal agencies US Commission on Fine Arts (CFA) or the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC).

My understanding is that they are NOT involved whatsoever.

 No CFA involvement.

No NCPC involvement.


One of the renderings from Vision McMillan Partnters of the redevelopment McMillan Sand Filtration site.  It should be noted that there is  no CFA or NCPC input into the project.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It is my understanding that the primary federal group involved at this point will be the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). In the District Historic Preservation Office (HPO) recommendations for McMillan, it states: "In 1987, as a condition of transfer to the District of Columbia from the General Services Administration (GSA) and prior to its local and National Register listing, a preservation covenant was attached to the property. The covenant required that rehabilitation and renovation work be undertaken in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and that the project be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). The covenant states that if the SHPO did not “agree with” the plans (legally imprecise language that presumably means that they are found not to meet the Secretary’s Standards), the District would request the comments of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in accordance with 36 CFR Part 800. As the project will result in substantial demolition of character-defining features and the redevelopment will compromise the open-space quality of the site, the SHPO concludes that the project does not meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings and advises the District to forward the plans to the Advisory Council for comment."

The need to reach out to the ACHP with regard to McMillan was invoked when the District's Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB): "determined that the proposal will result in substantial demolition, as defined in the preservation regulations, and therefore inconsistent with the purposes of the Historic Landmark and Historic District Protection Act."

The status of informing the ACHP on the HPRB decision is currently unknown. I have probed HPO and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), as well as Aakash Thakkar of EYA Development Inc., on this matter but have not received a definitive response at this time.

Mathew Bader
Bloomingdale Civic Association (BCA) McMillan Advisory Group (MAG) Representative