We’ve wanted to touch on architecture and what better day than a Sunday, when open houses abound and WaPo’s real estate section is a prominent part of the Sunday Post. Just as Adolph Cluss had an architectural influence on Washington in his day (the late 1800s), it looks like Esocoff Architects will have its influence beginning in the early 2000s. Look around and count the downtown residential buildings that received the nod from Esocoff: The Jefferson (The Clara Barton and The Lafayette glued together in the same edifice), 400 Mass Ave., The Whitman (top left), 1010 Mass Ave. (middle right), Quincy Park, Quincy Court, Post Mass Ave., 1700 Kalorama Lofts (in Adams Morgan, not downtown) and 2401 Penn Ave. Guess who designed The Dumont, now under construction, in the 400 block of Mass Ave? Esocoff.
Their buildings can be categorized as contemporary squared or wavy, many featuring glass frame bump outs that account for bigger rooms and floor to ceiling windows. There is a certain similarity to the brown, yellow or red hued brick on the facade with measured amounts of exposed glass and framing. WaPo noted that a lack of aesthetic balance and urban planning review will turn Mass Ave. into a mile long wind tunnel of 130 foot tall apartment buildings.
Will these buildings stand the test of time? Will Esocoffs have the same cachet as Wardman houses or Clusses? Or is cut and paste architecture a valid trade for the sake of speedy development? Call me in 20 years and I’ll let you know.
Note: Photo and rendering courtesy of their respective web sites.