24 Comment

  • Another boring office building in DC….zzzz…

    • If you go look at it in person, it’s actually very well done. Nice detail work and attractive materials. Classic design (and I usually don’t like that kind of thing).

      • Dude, it looks like every glass-and-steel office building that developers are raising all over the country. The old church, whether you thought it was attractive or not, at least looked original. I think it’s a real shame that the developers couldn’t have saved the old church and integrated it somehow with the new building, though I suppose that would have required creativity and money. But let’s not kid ourselves here – DC lost a unique building and replaced it with a bland one.

        • Accountering

          DC lost an untaxed building that was contributing nothing but “uniqueness,” and gained a building that will house somewhere around 1000 employees, buying lunch and earning salaries, and the building will now pay somewhere around $500,000/yearly in taxes. Big win for the city.

          • Isn’t the church still housed there, though? (And does it still own the land/building?) Not sure what that means for the tax situation.

          • Accountering

            Only the piece they occupy is tax free. The office building part is certainly back on the tax rolls.

        • Dude, that’s not always a bad thing. Not every building can be a masterpiece.

        • The turd I shat out this morning was unique in its own way, but I still had no desire to keep it.

    • Also, although not much better, but I at least like the renderings better, the white stone looks cleaner/nicer http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2013/08/jbg-takes-68000-square-feet-off-the.html

  • I was surprised at how boring the new office building is. I thought a new design would be something innovative. The church front glass work looks spectacular. But also short, I would have thought they needed more space for their congregation. Surprised they can put offices on top of it. They rebuilt the block so quickly!

  • what’s going on here? the church has moved to the space between the two buildings and erecting a new facade? do they own the office buildings? who is the architect?

  • They replaced one of the few notable pieces of brutalist in DC with something generic. Given that this denomination is dying (literally, their numbers are rapidly shrinking and they’ve been closing churches around the country), they could have done something with a little more civic purpose. The old building was unloved by many, but was a good example of the very abstracted forms that are the basis for brutalist architecture.

    • justinbc

      I found this bit from an old story funny:
      And members are pretty sure they’d have the blessing of the church’s original architect, Araldo Cossutta. “My work should not be fossilized,” he once said, “but when you replace it, make sure the replacement is an even greater gift.”

    • I also think the old, unloved brutalist church was a far more interesting piece of architecture than this boring box. But 50 years from how, they’ll start talking about tearing this ugly building down, and someone will want to preserve it.

    • At a certain point, these dying congregations eventually become non-profit real estate entities. With white shoe firm paying top dollar to be two blocks from the White House, this church will be raking in cash. It would be interesting to see how the property rights for (and cash generated by) such a property are controlled.

  • Am I the only one who kinda wishes they’d saved those weird cantilevered bells from the original church and stuck them back in the same spot off the new building over the I Street sidewalk??

  • So they replaced one ugly church with another ugly church.

    The office building part looks timeless. Nothing to write home about, but it’s not as bad as most.

  • Some background on the design of the new building (by notable architect Robert Stern) and HPRB process that dictated the direction of the design:

    http://dcmud.blogspot.com/2012/05/hprb-votes-new-mixed-use-third-church.html?m=1

  • Boo. I loved the old brutalist structure. Any character DC has is slowly being wiped out.

  • I like the new building better. The only thing I prefer about the old building is the tree and the grass.

  • Good riddance. Now to just raze the heinous FBI headquarters and remove another piece of architectural history not worth remembering.

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