If you live in a historic district, always remember to get approval from the city before making a modification to your house.
One local at 319 North Alfred Street, within the boundaries of the Parker-Gray District, could be forced to remove HVAC piping (item 7) outside of the building after it was installed without the approval of the Board of Architectural Review (BAR).
Most smaller issues that go to the BAR tend to be rather mundane and generally approved with little debate, but the ones where the staff report recommends denial set up a conflict between local residents and Alexandria’s influential BAR.
“The applicant has installed HVAC piping on the exterior of the north wall of the structure extending from the rooftop mounted mechanical unit to four separate locations,” the staff report said. “The piping is located within a paintable plastic enclosure and serves split system units at the interior of the structure. The installation was completed without the required BAR approvals.”
The building on North Alfred Street was constructed in 1928 by the B.B. Ezrine Construction Company, whose eponymous founder was ironically one of the founding members of the Zoning and Planning Commission that preceded the BAR.
“The two-and-a-half story Wardman-style townhouse is highly unusual in Alexandria in that it originally had Craftsman style architectural detailing,” the city report said, “rather than the more traditional Colonial Revival style often seen in Alexandria and Washington DC.”
It has an alleyway and parking lot to the north, leaving the site of the building covered with the new HVAC piping visible to the public. City staff first became aware of the piping after receiving a complaint earlier this year. While a rooftop unit was approved for the site, the exterior piping was not included in that application.
The building is for sale, according to the report, and the report said staff is working to resolve the violations before the building is passed along to a new owner — who would inherit a property with an outstanding zoning violation.
“The applicant is requesting after-the-fact approval for the installation of HVAC piping on the surface of the north wall of the existing structure,” the report said. “The piping is located within a paintable plastic enclosure and extends from the rooftop-mounted mechanical condenser to four separate locations on the north wall. At each of these locations, the piping penetrates the exterior wall leading to an indoor unit.”
The report said the piping “detracts from the historic character” of the building.
Staff finds that the HVAC piping that has been installed at the exterior of the north wall at 319 North Alfred Street detracts from the historic character of this unique building The organization of the piping is based on the location of the unit on the roof and the location of the interior units and not on the composition of the overall elevation. While the painting of the piping to match the adjacent wall helps to limit their initial visibility, they remain a clearly modern element that has been introduced without consideration for the design of the elevation
The applicant has filed an application for after-the-fact approval of the piping, but the report recommends the BAR deny this request. The piping-hot controversy is scheduled for review at BAR meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 21.
The biggest news throughout the region was the smoke from the Canadian wildfires that descended on Wednesday and stayed through yesterday. Air quality reached dire levels and the City of…
The Director of the Federal Housing Finance Administration visited Southern Towers in the West End this week, signalling to housing advocates that years of protests against rent hikes and evictions…
(Updated 1:15 p.m.) The Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge was closed to traffic due to police activity, though as of 1:15 p.m. is has reopened. A foot pursuit across the Mount Vernon…
A 4 BD/3 BA updated home with hardwood floors, covered porch and remodeled lower level is featured in Just Listed.
Are you seeking a confidential space where you can explore your emotions, overcome challenges, and find inner peace? Look no further than our dedicated psychotherapy service! We understand that life can be overwhelming at times, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
At Peaceful Mind Solutions, our passion lies in helping individuals like you navigate life’s complexities and find the strength to thrive. Our skilled and compassionate therapist is committed to creating a warm, non-judgmental environment where you can express your thoughts and feelings openly. With our personalized approach, we tailor each session to address your unique needs and empower you to overcome obstacles.
Through evidence-based techniques and a deep understanding of the human mind, our therapist will guide you on a transformative journey of self-discovery. Whether you’re dealing with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, or simply seeking personal growth, we’re here to provide guidance and practical tools for lasting change.
Time flies when you’re having fun! The T.C. Williams High School Class of 1973 will hold its 50th reunion July 21-23, 2023 in Alexandria. All graduates and their adult nears and dears are welcome. Events include a Friday evening icebreaker, Saturday dinner dance, and a Sunday brunch. For more information: tcwilliams73.com, 770.789.3534.