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The building facade looks intact…

 

A nondescript commercial building….

Like many houses on this portion of Washington Boulevard, today’s property was repurposed for commercial use. However this building has been seriously transformed through a series of additions. On one hand, the additions are proportional, and brick cornices hint at the original intent. On the other hand, the conglomeration is too visually overpowering, because it is visible from over a block away, due in large part to the football field just south of the building providing no cover. The additions overwhelm the original house, plain and simple.  Another detail that is very distracting is the after-the-fact ramp tacked on the side; it could at least be painted like EVERYTHING ELSE HERE! (Implied reading: ramp users are not entitled to the same aesthetic standards as the stairs…)

We’re thankful that the original house survived, but can’t we do better? Hopefully, new owners will acquire the property (it’s currently for sale) and improve the situation. We’d recommend integrating non-stair access in a more congruent way with the building. As a cliché, landscape architects are often called upon to ‘hide’ ugly moments in buildings. In this case a large specimen tree could provide a frame for the most historic part of this building and delineate the subsequent additions. That could be done at a relatively cheap price, we might add!

3 responses to “WTH Weds: The Large and Small of It”

  1. basil berchekas jr says:

    Luke and Michael, this is very good. Do want to stay in touch on these type articles; especially the conversion of residential to commercial/office use on formerly predominantly residential streets, like this portion of Washington Blvd, College Ave; Central Ave; etc.

  2. Barbara Sloan Bowlen says:

    Our family live next door at 3447 Washington Blvd. in the 50’s and 60’s. We were the last family on the block. The surrounding homes (and ultimately, ours) went to national headquarters of Greek Societies. This lovely white house, previously occupied by an elderly bachelor, Mr Hoke, was purchased by the Alpha Chi Omega national headquarters in the early 60’s. . When Mr Hoke lived there, he cultivated a large
    grape arbor in the form of a pergola. He woulid invite us over to pick them when they ripened. The front hall was amazing and was graced with a huge grandfather clock. I hope it will be restored – it was a lovely place. The house to the south (a Tudor owned by Blaine and Harriet Miller) has been gone for years; it buffered this one from the playing fields.

  3. Caitlin says:

    Barbara! I just read this comment and I found you on Facebook. I’m going to send you a friend request. I have questions about 3447 Wash Blvd!

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