SL 22-162


1250 Maryland Avenue, SW
United States

D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
Portals I
Renovations and additions to existing 8-story office building for residential use
Review Type
Submitted Documents


Dear Mr. LeFebvre:

In its public meeting of 15 September conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept submission for alterations and additions to Portals I, located at 1250 Maryland Avenue, SW, in association with converting this office building to residential use (case number SL 22-162). Expressing strong support for the proposal to reclad the building and add two stories plus an occupied penthouse, the Commission approved the concept with the following recommendations for the development of the project.

The Commission members complimented the proposed design, commenting that it transforms the building with care and finesse while respecting the underlying form of the existing building and its urban role within the Portals complex. They agreed that Option 4 is preferable for the materials of the added upper floors; they observed that this option to clad all three floors in metal and glass clearly distinguishes the new stories rather than extending the existing massing upward in masonry. For the material treatment of the lower floors, they supported the suggested use of crisply detailed stone or precast concrete. They recommended more emphasis on the base of the building to better ground the facades and to create welcoming entrances to the residential lobby and retail spaces, and they suggested refining the components of the large portal forms on the north and south facades to appear less heavy.

The Commission looks forward to further review of this prominent project and requested a submission in the design development phase that responds to these comments. As always, the staff is available to assist you in the development of the design.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Lex LeFebvre
Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group
1601 Washington Avenue, Suite 600
Miami Beach, FL 33139

cc: Hany Hassan, Beyer Blinder Belle
Jonathan Mellon, Goulston & Storrs