(h/t reader M.) Last week, the Congress for the New Urbanism
named the winners of its 2009 Charter Awards
, and one of them is the "House Office Buildings Facilities Plan and Preliminary South Capitol Area Plan
." I won't go into too much detail, since the majority of the area that the plan looked at is north of the freeway, but it is worth noting that, while it's a very neat plan that looks forward to both 2025 and 2050 and takes into account the vision of the NCPC's Extending the Legacy
(no more freeway!), the designers of the HOB facilities plan perhaps didn't do a lot of research as to the reality of the land ownership south of the freeway. If you look at the maps of their proposed 2025 and 2050 implementations
, you see all sorts of new government buildings on the block now dominated by 70 and 100 I Street
, as well as a big park at Second and H, which might come as a surprise to the William C. Smith Co., which owns the block and is planning a 1.1-million-square-foot mixed-use project
on that square. And yet the Post Plant
remains, 41 years in the future, which probably is not what city planners would consider an optimal solution. And the Capitol Power Plant is still there, too!
All this aside, if you live or work on the Hill, you might be interested in what the future could bring for the parking garages, House Office Buildings, and other structures that are part of the Capitol Complex. And, if I'm missing something about how this plan is approaching the privately owned land south of the freeway, I'd love clarification....