A historic and iconic building at 915 F Street NW may soon have a towering modern addition behind it. During its April 4 meeting, the Historic Preservation Review Board is expected to rule on designs for a five-story rear addition behind the Equitable Co-Operative Building, a historical landmark building located within the Downtown Historic District.
Architects Antunovich Associates designed the new office building that will sit atop the existing—and relatively hidden from F Street—two-story office space. A metal and glass cladding scheme will replace the basic white-washed brick look of the former office building. The addition will be accessible through the alley between 9th and 10th Street as well as through the main level of the former bank building.
The Equitable building is commonly remembered amongst locals as a community bank many decades ago—it closed in the 80s—and formerly as The Bank and Fifth Column nightclubs, amongst many others, before being left vacant for the last two years. The building has switched many hands since its original founding in 1912, the latest of which belong to Douglas Development Corporation.
One area of concern for the HPRB to consider, according to the staff report to the HPRB, is the use of Cor-ten weathering steel which, the report claims, can produce an orange oxidation stain that can spread to other buildings and material.
The 13,441 square-foot, three-story bank building below the office space is "ideal for an upscale restaurant," reads Douglas' website, and is only two blocks away from the Metro Center metro stop. A permit to start interior demolition was granted nearly 18 months ago, but the bank building has an interior landmark designation, protecting it from too much change. The Corinthian pilasters and cornice, mahogany wainscoting and millwork along with the Tennessee marble flooring will all remain as part of the new bank building, reads the staff report.
As of press time, a representative from Douglas Development had not responded to a request for comment.