West Heating Plant’s Structural Integrity Questioned


Structural engineers disagree on the state of the empty West Heating Plant on 29th Street next to the C&O Canal and near the Fours Seasons Hotel. One says that the old heating plant is too far gone to be saved, while another says that the building could be preserved and revitalized. The structure, built in 1948, has been unused since the mid-1990s.

These conflicting views have stalled plans to convert the building into 60 luxury condos, as the developers wait for a decision from preservation authorities. The building was bought from the federal government by Levy Group, the New York-based Georgetown Company and the Fours Seasons nearly two years ago.

The Old Georgetown Board offered comments Nov. 6 about the conflicting reports. The amount of demolition needed on the plant depends on how the building will be reused. In addition, the building’s structure has been damaged by water and rust, making it vulnerable to wind and earthquakes.

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