Judging New Buildings – 3422 Georgia Ave


This building recently went up on Georgia Ave. It sits next to the gas station by Park Road. I’m guessing it will be condos or apartments and it looks like it will have underground parking. While it’s a pretty simple design, it’s nice to see this section of Georgia Ave get some new digs. Think the building works for Georgia Ave?

35 Comment

  • Although it wouldn’t be welcomed in most neighborhoods, anything clean, new, and code-conforming on Georgia is an upgrade. Just hope it isn’t transient housing – we don’t need more loiterers along that densely-loitered stretch. I’m saddened to know that the clean new sidewalk will quickly be encrusted with gum.

  • Looks very institutional. Maybe it will be offices? Anything new going in on georgia ave is a good thing though, i suppose.

  • I was rather fond of the old GEORGIA sign on the building that was there before, but I’ll take new life over charming death right now. Design-wise, at least it isn’t some nightmare of obscenely post-post-modern opulent utopian angel-droppings. As it could’ve been.

  • Yes, it’s blah but at least shiny and new and not an empty lot. Though the building that was there before had potential and had a great sign (Georgia Garage or something?) Sadly it was hit by a car, was damaged, and did not survive.

  • Definitely looks like residential. The windows are not proportioned the way offices usually are.

    To me, it looks pretty unattractive. Today the paint is neat and smooth but it will need to be repainted soon and often. In a year it is going to look like a bunker.

  • Before I even read the comments, I was thinking this exact sentiment: “Although it wouldn’t be welcomed in most neighborhoods, anything clean, new, and code-conforming on Georgia is an upgrade. ”

    For GA Ave, more or less anything that doesn’t look vacant is an upgrade and should be applauded to an extent.

  • What, no one else will say it? It’s UGLY! It’s flat, bland, unoriginal, uninspiring, cheap and potentially unsafe. When our standards are so low that we’re happy about getting crap on the street, then that’s what we’re going to get. Crap.

    Bravo for a developer taking a chance to add some new apartments, but sheesh, this is a building that also shows the developer has zero faith that this area will ever be a worthwhile place to live. The developer has put the bare minimum of effort and investment into this building, treating it as a commodity, not a neighborhood, thus robbing future residents of any chance to feel proud to live here.

  • Large 2BRs. Take a look at http://www.johnxanthos.com – enter the site, then click on 3422 under “current projects” — kind of out of date, but you get the picture. Small-scale developer with a pretty decent quality portfolio.

    Of interest, click on 1418 in project archives for information on another building referenced here the other day (http://www.princeofpetworth.com/2009/06/judging-backs-of-row-houses-2/) and on 1412 for the house a couple doors to the south. All by the same developer, around 2002-2004.

  • I was also a fan of the old GEORGIA sign. I had hoped that some enterprising and visionary individual would take the space and make into something far more interesting than a tan, four-story box. I guess I was forgetting that I live in DC.

  • Geezer, you suck. Stop the DC bashing. This city has improved more rapidly than any other in the last 10 yrs and does a better job preserving its historic building stock, so how bout you take your negative ass elsewhere.

    What is it with this site and the negativity?

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @anon 4:07 how ’bout you make your point without saying someone sucks. You know that contributes to the negativity. Thanks.

  • Wow, nasty tone, great point, Anonymous 4:07. You’re so right. This city puts a huge amount of effort into historic preservation. It’s why Dupont, Mt. Pleasant, vast swaths of Capitol Hill, even Anacostia, Cleveland Park, Takoma, (the list goes on) look the way they do. Preserved, but allowed to evolve as long as the historic fabric is respected.

    I miss the old Georgia sign too. Boo hoo. Hopefully it’s in a dive bar somewhere.

  • Thanks PoP, but that’s just Anonymous being, well, anonymous. Perhaps it’s an identity crisis.

  • Thanks for the developer website link, Mike W. I now know that this outfit is also responsible for the piece of crap on Harvard Street, which I have always disliked.

    The website also claims that his inspiration comes from contemporary Greek architecture from the islands of Mikonos and Santorini, which I will argue works much better hanging off the jutting island cliffs than it does as an unarticulated mass in urban DC. This guy is awful.

  • Guys, it’s next to a gas station. What do you want, Notre Dame? And if you wanted the space historically preserved, why didn’t you buy it and renovate it? Was it really that pretty to start with? I’m happy to see the developer didn’t walk away leaving a pit. I sure wouldn’t build in the current market.

  • Looked at the Xanthos site. MAYBE since he paints himself as enlightened about neighborhood spaces, the old GEORGIA sign has been saved and will grace this building. Could that be, Mr. Xanthos? You’d be Local Hero to many judging from the comments.

  • This looks like one of those Soviet-era poured concrete structures that are found all over Eastern Europe….we can do better!

  • Vonstallin

    well maybe he shouldnt have built anything and left the old crashed down garage….

    The way I feel about stuff is this…

    Unless you help pay for it, build it, or help with the input to design it…. all the opinions on what he should have done means nothing.

    what would be cool is if the god for saken Murays had a 4 level building on top with the store on the bottom. It looks odd now next to the tall building.

    Preserve/incorporate the front and build up.

  • I don’t know… I kind of like it! Sure, it’s simple, but I’d rather take simple and new than a roach infested “historical” apartment! I like how the building is asymmetrical and the street facing condos/apts will have two windows (or three if it’s the whole floor?). Not bad at all.

  • As ugly as this part of Georgia Ave is I’d say this building fits. As a matter of fact there’s a certain uncluttered spareness about it when compared to the rest of the immediate surroundings but please, no more in this style.

  • Vonstallin

    Skeletor Says:
    July 1st, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Thats the point i was trying to get over….
    Its “Adequate” for its suroundings….

    Now if it was on Ust, or 14th st…maybe not so much…

  • Its not bad. I’ll take simple and straightforward almost any day over “look, I am trying to look historic”. 🙂

  • I’m into it, I like the simplicity and modern feel

  • that building needs to be killed with fire. it is simmered in weaksauce.

  • Vonstallin

    The new modern design every other building employs nowadays seems like it will never be “Historic”…15 years down the road it just seems like everyone will say…wtf were they thinking of when they designed those building…

    Just like the era when DC made alot of the Government Buildings in the 70’s. All are just poured concrete with no type of wall covering… UDC, HUD’s HQ, etc…

    check it.

    It was the bomb design of its day.

  • “Unless you help pay for it, build it, or help with the input to design it…. all the opinions on what he should have done means nothing.”

    @vonstallin, part of my lament is that the design input was terrible. There are many designers in this city that would kill for a job right now that would do a much better job. Mr. Xanthos chose not to solicit good design. Besides, Architects, Lancscape Archtiects and designers within the public realm know that their work is open to public criticism. Feedback is essential to civil society.

    And to build a building that is simply “adequate for its surroundings” shows no respect to, nor faith in, current or future residents. Sure, this building is better than a vacant ruin, but is that all you should ever hope for? It’s pretty easy to achieve “better than a vacant ruin.” Shouldn’t we all expect better?

    Why are people setting the bar so low? Would you want to live here? Do you think that this is all ‘they’, the people living on Georgia Avenue, deserve? It may be ‘adequate for their surroundings’ but would you consider it adequate for yours?

  • Vonstallin

    Oh ment to say…simple is time withstanding.

  • Vonstallin

    Larchie Says:
    July 1st, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    To be honest, I think the building looks fine…
    Im not a fan of all these crazy designs poping up here and their.

    Now you wouldnt pay me to live on Georgia ave, but if i was in the market for an Condo or apt. This building would suit me just fine.

    like alot of houses in DC, Im dont care much about what the outside looks like…Its the actual living quarters design and look that I am more into.

    Click on my name and look at my photos of my interior…alot of work went into it…but my outside?
    one word……


  • I’m a little unnerved that, in spite of the fact that I pass by that lot literally every day and frequently buy gas at that gas station, I didn’t even notice that construction was going on on this lot. This tells me two things: 1) this building went up way too fast; and 2) the building is so bland as to be completely unnoticeable. Point 1 worries me a little bit. Point 2 doesn’t. I’m a fan of good design and historical preservation–I bought a lovely old row house in Park View because I would rather live with crime than with suburban squalor–but this building is probably the most that we can expect people to invest into that stretch of Georgia Ave at this point. Skeletor is right: it’s next to a gas station on a mostly blighted, crime-ridden stretch of a sadly neglected major thoroughfare. When that’s no longer the case, someone will tear it down and build something better.

    Three cheers for somebody trying to do something to encourage people to want to live there. I just hope it doesn’t fall down and hurt somebody.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    @Farther Down – for what it’s worth, the building def. did not go up over night. I was just waiting for it to get close to finishing before posting.

  • I should have added: 3) sometimes I’m not very observant. I definitely remember cones and tape up around there over the last couple of months blocking the bus stop, but it never actually registered what was being built there. I thought they were just working on the sewers or something. Just goes to reinforce 2).

  • I live around the corner from there, and I’m just glad that something is going up that isn’t a strip club, liquor store, or take out.

  • # ParkRd Says:
    July 1st, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    “I live around the corner from there, and I’m just glad that something is going up that isn’t a strip club, liquor store, or take out.”


    I live a block away from this place, and passing it every day, I definitely wondered whether it was going to be commercial or residential. The outside is pretty dull.

    However, I don’t think it detracts from the surroundings and the inside is probably quite nice. The whole building sort of fades into the background.

    I’m just happy about the prospect of new neighbors!

  • Lots of good stuff is happening in this area. EL Haynes Public Charter School? has been built nearby. I would send my kid to Haynes, if he weren’t 158th on the waiting list. Other stuff too – Yes Market, Domku (ok, I admit, I still haven’t been there), other… stuff. We are getting a critical mass near Petworth. And unlike CH, where the anemic 14th St chokes on the additional traffic, Georgia was intended to be a main street.

  • looks very clean and nice for that block. Dont forget this guy took a change next to all this public housing and drugs that take place on this block. Its a nice building very good fit.

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