Dear PoP – Billy Simpson’s House of Seafood May Be Designated a Historic Site

DSCN7693, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

“Dear PoP,

Just wondering if you had done a story before on Billy Simpson’s House of Seafood?”

See recommendation for historic status here.

Wow, how random. The building, shown above, looks rather ordinary.

The pdf above says:

“After careful consideration, the staff recommends that the Historic Preservation Review Board designate Billy Simpson’s House of Seafood and Steaks, 3815 Avenue, NW, as a landmark to be entered in the D.C Inventory of Historic Sites. It is further recommended that the nomination be forwarded to the National Register of Historic Places.

The two-story brick commercial/residential building at 3815 Georgia Avenue was constructed in 1923 as one in a four-unit row on the west side of Georgia Avenue, a largely commercial but decidedly mixed-use corridor. The row was designed in the typical, early-twentieth-century, two-part commercial block, with apartments over stores. As originally conceived, the buildings are not pure examples of a style, but reflect cost-conscious efficiency in design and plan, with minimal historicist detail in the form of a prominent cornice evocative of a number of eclectic revival styles.”

Do you think this is a good choice to be designated a historic site?

7 Comment

  • This building gained its historic designation from HPRB because of its former political and social importance not for its architectural integrity. (The “Significance” section of the attached recommendation from above details its importance and prior use). Our company, along with Mosiac Urban Partners, was recently awarded the development rights for the building (and the adjacent one). We plan to return the building’s use to a restaurant and we also plan to include historic elements which will tell the story of the building’s historic significance.

  • When I read the initial post I thought “WHAT??”, but after reading the recommendation I think it should be designated.

  • Sure thing, though its extremely sad how atrocious it looks now.

  • I just hope this designation won’t slow its redevelopment by donatelli.

  • We used to eat here when I was a kid.

  • I understand Donatelli had much to do with its designation. Tax breaks are nice.

  • Sounds like the kind of historic landmark that is all too often overlooked. Would be cool to decorate the interior with old photographs of the African American movers that used to gather here. Somewhat bittersweet if you consider that it was one of the few places they were welcome in that era. I really like the idea of a nice new restaurant here since it’s walking ditance to my new house!!!

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