Lanier pans own design for Key Bridge Gateway Project

Photo by The Georgetown Dish
Anthony Lanier speaks out 'against' his proposed building at the Old Georgetown Board
Anthony Lanier speaks out 'against' his proposed building at the Old Georgetown Board

There aren’t many dramatic moments at the monthly meetings of the Old Georgetown Board.  The discussions by the three-member panel  in a large, bright room in the historic Pension Building follow their congressional charge to preserve the “historic value” of Georgetown and usually concern height, paint v. glass for an exterior, the placement of windows and how a structure will look from the street or a bridge.

The Old Georgetown Board: David Cox, Stephen Vanze and Anne Lewis (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) The Old Georgetown Board: David Cox, Stephen Vanze and Anne Lewis
But yesterday, there were two unexpected moments, both concerning the proposal by Anthony Lanier of Eastbanc to build a five-story/50 foot building to replace the Exxon gas station at the foot of Key Bridge. The first such moment was Lanier’s response to the drumbeat of criticism of the project – from Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners Tom Birch and Bill Starrels for the Commission, from nearby residents Jack Davies, Sharon Pryor and Robert O’Malley and a distinguished architect, Robert Bell.  They said it will be a large, jarring, intrusive too-tall building that will, among other things, ruin the Key Bridge entrance to Georgetown for the millions of motorists coming to the District via this gateway. .

Opponents of the project: Jack Davies (left) andANC Commissioners Tom Birch and Bill Starrels (Photo by: The Georgetown Dish) Opponents of the project: Jack Davies (left) andANC Commissioners Tom Birch and Bill Starrels
Lanier, instead of defending his proposal, said, perhaps half-jokingly: “I feel like speaking out against my own project.”  And while he pointed out that the property owner has the zoning right to build up to 50 feet, this premier Georgetown developer pledged to go back to the drawing boards and “address the vertical issue” and bring forth a “better building,” all the product of his fondness for the “tension of the debate.”

 

The second surprise came from boardmember Anne Lewis as she made extensive, mostly critical comments following Lanier’s “better building” pledge. She said the “project had gotten worse” from the previous design, with a particular objection to the pool on the roof and how it allowed for unwelcome “human activity” there.  Indeed, a pool will mean there will be “fat people in bikinis and nobody wants to look at them,” she said.

The other two members of the OGB are David Cox and Stephen Vanze, chair.

0 Comments For This Article

Dave Roffman

Lanier has no sense of what Georgetown's history is. He and his $$$ have been trying to remake Georgetown and have been getting away with it for a long time. It is time our ANC and CAG got down to the business of defending this community and quit caving in to EastBanc at every turn. Three cheers for the OGB!