Any Character Left?




-To the editors:

Regarding the feature “Reviving Dead Space” [March 10 issue], do clients who “loved old buildings” or their architect, “an expert in period Georgetown buildings,” truly believe that gutting “the entire house” yields a “creation” that has any “good bones” or “character” left? Far too much original fabric of historic Georgetown buildings is being wantonly removed in the interest of reviving ”dead, crumbly cottages” into “spacious light-filled beauties.” With design features such as the now-commonplace “open floor plan, sparkling stainless steel, skylights, limestone, etc.,” are we certain the author is not describing a contemporary loft condo downtown?

I can only wonder what the (apparently very diminutive) previous occupants, circa 1810, would have thought of this “transformation” while huddled around their basement kitchen hearth in “the four-foot earthen windowless crawlspace.”

Douglas Rixey, AIA

The author is a partner at Rixey-Rixey Architects on M Street.

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