From David McAuley. Email him at david[AT]borderstan.com.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 2F/Logan may vote to oppose the demolition of 1618 14th Street NW, former site of the sex club, “Men Parties.”
At last night’s meeting, ANC 2F’s Community Development Committee (CDC) voted 6-0 to recommend the full ANC not support an application to DC’s Historical Preservation Review Board (HPRB) for a raze permit for the building. The demolition requires permission from the HPRB because the building is within the boundaries of the Fourteenth Street Historic District.
Jeff Owens appeared before the committee to plead the case of the building’s owner, Stephen Jaffe. Reports indicate Jaffe has been the owner since before the 2009 incident.
Owens said the building had been gutted and is now exposed to the elements. He also said the building’s perimeter wall is buckling and the floor joists are gone. Neighborhood residents testified the building is neglected and some windows are open permanently.
Owens also said there is a tentative plan for a new building on the site which would have retail on the first floor and apartments above.
Neighborhood residents testified the building has been an eyesore for years and there were many unsuccessful attempts by neighbors to do something about it. One neighbor brought up the owner’s responsibility for the club and the 2009 death.
“He [Jaffe] knows nothing about that,” Owens said.
Members of the committee came out strongly in favor of preserving the building.
“This is the type of case that historic preservation laws have been designed to protect,” said one committee member.
“This is an absolute case of demolition by neglect,” said another.
“It’s a contributing building,” said committee chair Walt Cain, ANC commissioner for district 02.
The matter may be next considered at the regular monthly meeting of ANC 2F. This is scheduled for Wednesday, July 10, at 7 pm, at the Washington Plaza Hotel, 10 Thomas Circle NW.
A notice that an application to raze the building had been filed first appeared at the property in April of this year.