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For more than a year now, I’ve been providing updates on the City Paper Hotel, a project that would transform Adams Morgan’s First Church of Christ, Scientist into a boutique hotel.
The church, located at the corner of Champlain and Euclid Streets NW, would be the front building of the hotel. A new structure would be erected directly behind it in a space currently occupied by a parking lot and 2390 Champlain Street, home of Pacifica Radio and the Washington City Paper.
Developer Brian Friedman has been attentively presenting his building plans to various neighborhood associations in the general area. Initially, many people had misgivings about the proposed height of the building. Friedman reworked his architectural plans and moved the highest section of the hotel further away from the street to be less intrusive. Finally after months of back-and-forth, Friedman presented his new proposal to the Historic Preservation Review Board in late November. According to The Dupont Current, many board members still had specific gripes about the size and bulk of the development. But they still went ahead and supported the project:
Ultimately, board members seemed to agree that the trade-off—-a big new building generating funds to restore a beautiful old church building—-is fair. To save the church, ” you have to pay for it, so you need size and height, and that’s where we are”…The developers will now seek zoning approval for the project as a planned-unit development, which would allow them to exceed a 55 unit-foot height limit imposed by a zoning overlay in the neighborhood. They have also filed an application to designate the church as a landmark, which would make it eligible for tax credits to restore the interior and exterior. They must return to the preservation board for review of final building plans.