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East End News

O St Development moving right along!

Development of O Street

First announced in 2014, the O Street redevelopment between 25th and 26th seems to be moving right along! John & Bénédicte Whitworth are the developers, with architecture firm Architecture AF and contractor UrbanCore taking on the heavy lifting. Parking may be a little tight for a few months, so resist the urge to use the DaVita Center lot- they’re very much monitoring who’s coming in and out of the parking lot.

Personally, I find it so inspiring to see these great structures being restored. It makes me proud to live here!

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Eric S. Huffstutler 12/23/2017 at 4:36 PM

It is always great to see buildings being restored rather than torn down. Being that this falls outside the O&H Districts, the CAR has no jurisdiction over it. It does though, just falls within the Church Hill North Historical registry area. I know John Whitworth in years past, was passionate about proper preservation and restoration without modernized additions and so I am sure he will treat this project with respect.

Susan Haas 12/23/2017 at 5:05 PM

How exciting! The neighborhood is in bloom!

BAF 12/24/2017 at 1:22 AM

I don’t know how much actual restoration there is. From the back, the buildings look entirely gutted. Even significant portions of the exterior brick have been knocked down. There is not going to be much, if any, of the original buildings left other than maybe the front facades.

I’m not complaining. I would have been glad for anything to get rid of the current eyesores, historically accurate or not. But I don’t think there is any plan to do much restoration here.

Eric S. Huffstutler 12/24/2017 at 3:01 AM

@2 Susan Haas, your comment reminds me. I wonder whatever happened to the “Neighborhoods In Bloom” city project? We were part of a commercial filmed in our house not long after we moved here in 1999, but the group seemed to be falling apart by this time? They tried to promote neighborhoods and gentrification by bringing prospective buyers to available houses that needed restoration and compare them to those that have already been restored and convince them to buy. It had been around for years. Another you never hear about any longer is ACORN. I think it may now be the BHC?

Lee 12/24/2017 at 10:22 AM

@BAF – these were fairly simple houses to begin with. If they needed to do significant structural work (which they probably do, since they are adding a third floor), it would probably make more sense to just go ahead and remove everything. I saw the interiors of these years ago, and think that other than the cornices, there wasn’t a lot of original features left – some interior doors and moldings, a few fireplace surrounds and maybe some salvageable hardwood flooring and beadboard. It could go either way, really.

Eric S. Huffstutler 12/24/2017 at 11:35 AM

@3 BAF… I would have to investigate this but, interiors are not usually part of the “restoration” protection plan, unless a historically significant building.

I believe they are trying to make the largest unites possible with current trend floorplans. (though I have never been a fan of the open floor concept). Most bang for the buck.

Not sure what is going on with the roofs removed and the historically proper and original fascia and corbels are now gone? I would think they want to keep as much of the original look or as you say, it will be all new units and nothing left to associate them with their history. I am sure they will be put back on but it is a bit of a puzzle.

Eric S. Huffstutler 12/24/2017 at 11:42 AM

@5 Lee… well, that explains why the roofs are removed. Adding a third floor is something not in the first original plans and not sure how that will look? I know in years past, John Whitworth was adamantly opposed to modernized additions to historical buildings and was fighting to keep it from happening. So, I am hoping that the third floor will look like part of the original building from the 1870s. I have not seen final plans to know one way or another.

BAF 12/24/2017 at 1:22 PM

I do know the plan is to make the units dramatically bigger with extensions on the back too. Also they are adding a completely new unit to the block.

Eric S. Huffstutler 12/24/2017 at 2:57 PM

@8 BAF At one time that new unit was going to mirror the store on the other end and balance the row. But obviously, plans have changed up completely since the original model? We will just have to wait and see what they will look like.


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