West End Library and Fire Station development project breaks ground Monday

Rendering courtesy of EastBanc

From a press release:

“On Monday, December 15, EastBanc, Inc. will break ground and begin construction on the highly anticipated West End Library and Fire Station project at 2301 L St, NW. The official groundbreaking ceremony is open to the public and hosted by DC Mayor Vincent Gray and numerous city officials and community leaders.

Plans for EastBanc’s West End Library and Fire Station development project call for a new 21,000-square-foot library and 7,300 square feet of retail topped by 164 market-rate units – 71 condos and 93 rentals – and a new fire station topped by 55 affordable units and Squash on Fire — a state-of-art squash facility with eight courts and full-service restaurant.

On March 11, 2010 Mayor Fenty selected EastBanc W.D.C Partners to redevelop the District’s West End Library, Police Special Operations Building, and Fire Station. Over the last several years, EastBanc worked closely with Mayor Gray’s administration and the community to plan, design, and entitle two buildings to house a new library, residential condominiums, and retail space on Square 37, and a new fire station with affordable housing above, on Square 50. The company is committed to bringing more residents to the West End neighborhood, expanding retail offerings and delivering world-class architecture. EastBanc has engaged world-renowned architect Enrique Norten of T.E.N. Arquitectos of Mexico City to design both buildings.

Both complexes are being built as a public-private partnership between the District of Columbia, EastBanc, The JBG Companies and Clark Enterprises. The project has received enthusiastic support from the DCPL, DCFEMS, ANC 2A, U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the West End/Foggy Bottom communities as a whole.”

13 Comment

  • west_egg

    A library (quiet) built on top of a fire station (sirens)? Does anybody else remember the “trouble brewing” Far Side cartoons? 😉
    Joking aside, I think this is a cool idea. Though personally I’m not sure I’d buy a condo that’s literally on top of the fire station. “Dear PoPville: Someone in the neighborhood is parking their noisy red truck right below my bedroom. Is this legal?”

    • The West End library and the 164 units on top will be on a separate parcel of land (Square 37) from the fire station, squash courts, and the 55 affordable units above on the other site (Square 50). In short, the fire station will not be in the same building as the library. There are two distinct development sites but being billed as a single project.

    • There are already condos across the street from the fire station, as well as a new hotel next door (which is not shown in the rendering because the hotel was built later — that shows just how long this plan has taken to come to fruition).

  • The old library was already practically next door to the old fire station. Looks great! The old library was getting so run down.

  • What?! Where’s the affordable housing?

  • I’d forgotten how ugly this was going to be. The library seemed like it hadn’t been dusted in years and was a rather plain but ugly 1950s building, but I suspect there was really nothing wrong with the building.

    • To each his/her own; I think this has the possibility to be the best new piece of architecture in the city in a long time.

  • I think it looks great! Really beautiful building!

  • I don’t understand. The press release says 2301 L St. but the accompanying photo is of M St. So where exactly is this going to be?

    • I came to ask the same question. I work on 23rd Street and saw they recently relocated that fire station on the corner of 23rd/M to the 2200 block of L Street. So I think the new station and library is going to be where the old one was, on the corner of 23rd/M. (Also, exactly what we need — more construction on this section of M Street as if it weren’t dangerous enough already.)

  • The uneven window distribution reminds me of the building on Kenyon (I think) in the 1400 block — the one that’s for transitional housing or something. (I wonder if it’s the same architect?)
    I didn’t like the window distribution on that building, and I don’t like it this rendering either.

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