Print Columns   |   Web Chats   |   Blog Archives   |  

Apple Too Shiny For Georgetown


The exterior of 1229 Wisconsin Ave. (Bloomberg)

An Apple store is a most desirable shiny bauble for any retail neighborhood, a symbol of high-end appeal and cutting-edge variety. Apple stores are relatively limited in number--just 240 or so around the world--and remarkably successful; not one has ever had to close for lack of profits.

So the news that the computer cult would be coming to the heart of Georgetown was a welcome bulletin for boosters of the D.C. neighborhood's retail sector.

But for all its success around the globe, Apple has not had to deal with historic preservationists in the District. Welcome to the nation's capital: Apple has been cored.

The Old Georgetown Board and Georgetown's advisory neighborhood commission have stuffed Apple's application to put one of its signature stores at 1229 Wisconsin Avenue NW, in the space previously occupied by, you'll pardon the expression, FCUK, the clothing outlet. Apple paid $13.7 million for the property, just up from M Street, a brick and wood facade that adheres to Georgetown design standards but doesn't exactly sport a colonial look. Rather, the storefront's current face has kind of an impersonal, phony, 1970s aura about it.

Obviously, Apple likes its facades to match the company's sleek, chromy look--like here in Bethesda, or here in Clarendon. But given the sensitivities of the neighborhood, the company has proposed a more muted design for its Georgetown outlet, featuring a large expanse of glass and stone, including the company's signature symbol of the piece of fruit-shaped glass.

That doesn't go in the District. "It's an issue of scale," said Thomas Luebke, secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the design review agency that oversees the Old Georgetown Board. He added that the building needed to "come together in a way that doesn't feel disruptive to the existing environment." (What do you think?)

"The board felt that the design turned the building into a billboard," Luebke told the Northwest Current, the feisty weekly that has dominated coverage of the Apple-Georgetown story.

The ANC has now nixed Apple's designs three times, even after the latest one was blessed by Steve Jobs himself (this is apparently a Moses-like statement to the folks at Apple; the D.C. preservation police greeted the arrival of the tablets of Jobs with a barely noticeable shrug.)

The ANC says Apple's design is too modern. The Old Georgetown Board says the design is too big and bold. Apple, mystified by all this, notes that it has successfully integrated its stores into other places that have every bit of Georgetown's claim to historic status, including an alluring and tasteful bit of design on Regent Street in London and a successful integration into a historic post office building in New York's SoHo.

There are so many ramshackle, unimpressive storefronts along Wisconsin in Old Georgetown that for the two government boards to block Apple's reasonable proposals seems little more than an adolescent, petty exercise of authority. But that's how the preservation police get their jollies in Washington. The only things that suffer as a result are the economy and the people who live, work and shop here.




POLL


By Marc Fisher |  January 13, 2009; 8:17 AM ET
Previous: The Folly of Inauguration Island | Next: Inauguration: The Million Things We Don't Know March

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Just like when GT dropped the ball on a Metro station back in the late 60's.

Apple, come to NE Washington. No hysterical police here! We would welcome you with open arms.

Posted by: johng1 | January 13, 2009 8:51 AM

Good grief! Not again with the "Georgetown didn't want the Metro stop" canard. A Metro stop wasn't built in Georgetown due to engineering, financial and logistical limitations.

Check out "A Great Society Subway" by Zachary Schrag for the debunking of this myth. Marc Fisher's blog hosted a discussion of this subject in 2006.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/rawfisher/2006/04/built_on_a_swamp_and_other_myt.html

Posted by: ScottM5 | January 13, 2009 9:35 AM

When will this city learn? An upscale trustworthy business wants to locate in your neighborhood and every last Tom Dick and Harry has to spend months and years pretending that what they are doing is for the community, and not for themselves.

You would think that this would be a no brainer for DC, especially in this time of severe economic hardship.

It really floors me, especially with some of the ridiculous and ugly facades/stores in GT, that Apple's design doesn't make the cut.

Every citizen and "historical" preservation board in the city has to have their piece with any and all development in the city.

In the end, you've either scared the business off, or you've wasted years, hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, and the business still goes in, unchanged from its original plans.

Posted by: Nosh1 | January 13, 2009 9:47 AM

Sigh. DC apparently welcomes diversity and innovation as long as it's the same old diverity and innovation we've always had.

Posted by: gth1 | January 13, 2009 9:48 AM

It'd be hysterical if it weren't so sad and so typical. I don't know what it takes to get the District out of its own way. Well, I guess it could be worse -- at least Apple's not trying to put a ping-pong table in front. THEN we'd see some action.

Posted by: mdean3 | January 13, 2009 9:56 AM

Apple should eschew Georgetown and locate the store downtown instead. It would be a better fit for the company anyway.

Posted by: ShawnDC | January 13, 2009 9:57 AM

Please, please, please come to the West End. It's a stones throw to Georgetown without the garbage stores that now perpetuate what's left of Georgetown shopping.

All you have to compete with in the West End are so-called pharmacies (drugstores also selling tons of stuff that is not good for you). Loads of young lawyers, etc over here plus the GW herd. Convenient to Red Line for AU kids and for GT kids, it's a downhill walk.

PLEASE.

Posted by: tslats | January 13, 2009 10:05 AM

There is much better weekend foot traffic in G'town especially with tourists who may not have an Apple store back in their hometown.

Posted by: ArlingtonVA3 | January 13, 2009 10:05 AM

These preservation folks are just plain crazy. And that's coming from a former Georgetown resident who happens to think preservation work is important.

But let's be serious. Georgetown has become an endless line of chain stores. Gaps and J.Crews and Johnny Rockets. Someone needs to tell the historic preservation folks that Colonial Williamsburg is a couple of hours south of here. Apple is not looking to tear anything down and they're not looking to erect neon signs.

The Apple Store has proven itself to be a great asset in cities and towns across the world. Maybe these historic preservation peopleneed to get out a bit. Clarendon's just a short walk away.

Like Marc said: this is just a sport to these folks. It's all about power and has little to do with a great business coming to Georgetown.

Posted by: photomat | January 13, 2009 10:07 AM

"Good grief! Not again with the "Georgetown didn't want the Metro stop" canard. A Metro stop wasn't built in Georgetown due to engineering, financial and logistical limitations ...
Posted by: ScottM5 | January 13, 2009 9:35 AM"

That is not entirely true. I've been here more than 50 years and remember when Metro was in the planning stages. They had a small office at L'Enfant Plaza, which I visited frequently for updates. I was a teenage Metro geek in those days. I couldn't wait for Metro to be constructed.

There was huge vocal opposition to Metro by GT residents. They simply did not want the "mobilized crime." I remember those days vividly.

As far as engineering is concerned, as an engineer myself, any project of this magnitude would be challenging, but could have been overcome given the will and influence of those people at the time.

Posted by: johng1 | January 13, 2009 10:17 AM

Just tell the Georgetown navel-gazers to FCUK off.

Posted by: bs2004 | January 13, 2009 10:21 AM

I, too, prefer a big sign that says "FCUK" to the use of modern materials by a (tax-collecting!) tech-bauble vendor.
After all, nothing says "Georgetown" like a logo-laden, popped-collar jackass vomiting on original cobblestone, with a faux-cedar backdrop built in 1973.

Posted by: redlineblue | January 13, 2009 10:24 AM

All of M Street and Wisconsin avenue are billboards for a bunch of national chain stores at this point. How is Apple making it worse? Chances are it will be better than whatever ends up there . . .

Posted by: ah___ | January 13, 2009 10:25 AM

Marc,
I love reading your commonsense skewering of the DC preservation police. It's too bad nothing seems to change.

What I find ironic is that even from the perspective of historic preservation these obscurantists are wrongheaded. Modern buildings are supposed to be interspersed within historic landscapes. Modern lines and modern materials that complement historic streetscapes are preferable to faux-olde new structures. Georgetown's preservation cops aren't even up to speed on what is desirable in their own field.

Charleston, SC is one place that has taken this philosophy to heart. It is more attractive and open to necessary change than Georgetown and more economically viable than almost any other historic city in the country.

Perhaps Mayor Fenty and his new buddy President Obama can break this logjam and get DC moving in the right direction. God knows it's long overdue. Go Apple!

Posted by: Clio1 | January 13, 2009 10:25 AM

Apple is a huge, soul-less multinational corporation. I think they can take care of themselves. I happen to like when basic community organizations stand up for themselves, even when it is obnoxious and irrational. It lets those with financial and political muscle know that THE PEOPLE still have a little power.

Posted by: Wallenstein | January 13, 2009 10:31 AM

I love it. The one 'pro' comment for the neighborhood commission says they like them because they're "obnoxious and irrational."

What an endorsement!

Posted by: SmallWhiteCar | January 13, 2009 10:57 AM

The Apple Store in Miami Beach is tasteful, and respects the art deco motif so prevalent in Miami Beach. So Apple can do it when they want to:

http://images.apple.com/retail/images/store_photos/photo_lincolnroad.jpg

On the other hand, the Boston store on Boylston St. is brash and bright, and seems to cry out, "Look at me":

http://motivemediaco.com/workspace/upload/apple_store_bignoob.jpg

Posted by: stellarfun | January 13, 2009 11:12 AM

DC's historic architecture is dreary and needs shaking up. I can understand preserving buildings where important events happened or those that are key examples of a genre, but keeping an entire street looking the way it did in 1890 is an expensive, ugly waste of time. These ANC people need to take up macramé or something.

Posted by: csdiego | January 13, 2009 11:38 AM

I respectfully disagree with your assessment, Marc. Georgetown's main draw over other neighborhoods is it's historical character. Is it too much to ask that Apple respect this character? You can't make an exception for Apple just because they're Apple. I applaud Georgetown's ANC for sticking to their principles and not becoming Apple fanboys like everyone else.

Its not like Apple is out of options. They can either A) Get with the program and design something in character with the neighborhood or B) Choose from the myriad other neighborhoods in DC where design won't be as big of an issue. Try Gallery Place, Downtown, NoMa, the new Ballpark neighborhood, Columbia Heights, etc...need I keep going?

Posted by: DistrictDirt | January 13, 2009 11:45 AM

Put it in Union Station, visited by regular people. Georgetown is full of snobs.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | January 13, 2009 11:56 AM

Union Staion would be a better choice anyway, they could sell ipods to all the train commuters, plus Georgetown is too close to the Claredon store anyway. I would think Apple would want to be near a Metro stop.

Posted by: graciejane4 | January 13, 2009 12:11 PM

This article is totally useless without a graphic of the proposed Apple designs that were turned down. Clearly they CAN do a nice job, as the SoHo store demonstrates, but without knowing what they submitted how can a reader see if they tried in this context?

Posted by: m1903a4 | January 13, 2009 12:20 PM

I'm an Apple fan, but that's what they get for going to the snooty neighborhood. None of the chain stores deem the neighborhoods east of Rock Creek Park, worthy of new locations.

Now that Columbia Heights has been gentrified, there's finally a Target and a Best Buy. However, neither one of those stores would have even gone there without all the tax benefits.

So ask me if I care that Apple is feuding with the self-absorbed neighbors in Georgetown? They deserve each other because in the end there still won't be a location in my neighborhood.

If Apple was really trying to do something for the people, they would locate a store in the 'hood. Since it's all about profits, let them keep wasting their money on Georgetown. Obviously they want Georgetown more than Georgetown wants them.

Posted by: Carole5520 | January 13, 2009 12:27 PM

>>Apple is a huge, soul-less multinational corporation.

Quite unlike Ralph J. Banana, the cuddly non-profit that is the face of present-day G-town.

Posted by: redlineblue | January 13, 2009 12:49 PM

Apple should just throw in the towel and put the store up for sale or rent and go to a more welcoming part of the city. They got fooled into thinking Georgetown was the "hip" place to be in DC and now they are learning the hard way. I would never have gone to that apple store in the first place because it is in G'Town where there is no parking, over priced and crowded.

Posted by: ccppcsharp | January 13, 2009 1:05 PM

Historic preservation gate-keepers are an interesting lot. I live in such a district in Western Loudoun County, and we had one who announced that unless a proposal would look good from horseback she wasn't going to approve it.

Where do we get such people?

Posted by: seahawkdad | January 13, 2009 1:14 PM

I believe that the ANC is composed of Windows users. Seriously though, they want to prove they are more popular than an iconic corporation. Great, you proved it. I hope they're happier with an empty storefront until the depression clears. It could be a homeless shelter. Maybe someone will open up a Great Depression style apple cart on the sidewalk in front.

Posted by: staticvars | January 13, 2009 1:20 PM

Well, they've all ready bought the site, so its pretty much a game of chicken at this point.

I personally believe, and have been saying this for a few years now, that they should occupy most, if not all, of Yeni Wong's building at the corner of 7th and H in the HEART of Chinatown. The foot traffic there on a weekend rivals that of Georgetown and the metro is right there. Furthermore, I'm sure Apple's designs would go hand in hand with the "Times Square" motif AT&T is trying to pull off across the street.

Don't know if its historically designated though or how hard it'd be to reconfigure.

Posted by: FrankfurtFreddie | January 13, 2009 1:35 PM

Current Georgetowner who once worked for the architectural/engineering firms that did a lot of the planning and design of Metro. (1) The subway was not extended to GT because of engineering design problems, not neighborhood opposition: substrata rock and insufficient construction staging area because of narrow streets and old historic buildings.(2)I would love to see the Apple Store come in - and would even prefer something like the Bethesda store rather than the phony-baloney "historic" building FAC is in a tizzy about.

Posted by: CheneyM | January 13, 2009 1:37 PM

That location would make a great gun shop...

Posted by: rallycap | January 13, 2009 1:39 PM

Marc, not today's subject, but for the last few weeks (for me anyway) the printing in your blog entries gets cut off on the right side of the page. But when I go to the "comments" section it looks fine. Doesn't happen with any other WP blog I read, just letting you know.

Posted by: capsfan77 | January 13, 2009 1:43 PM

The Apple rejection is totally consistent with Georgetown's rejection of all things including the Metro.

Schrag's book on Metro history does not disprove the fact that Georgetown residents (as well as Tenleytown/Van Ness residents) did not want Metro stations in their neighborhoods. In fact, Georgetown residents ***most definitely** did not want the station. Schrag simply argues that other reasoning was employed to justify not building a stop there. Furthermore, the engineering excuse that the Georgetown station needs to be too deep is not convincing. Look at Woodley Park or Forest Glen which are far deeper than a Georgetown stop would need to be. Both those stops are deeper than Rosslyn, and Rosslyn gives a pretty good indication of how deep a Georgetown stop would need to be.

Furthermore, why is no one considering a Georgetown stop now? Add it to the blue/orange lines. Or better yet, extend the Purple Line from Silver Spring through Bethesda and then along the abandoned railway straight into Georgetown. Either approach would have a tremendous benefit on removing auto traffic from Georgetown. Hopefully Obama's stimulus packages will enable more progressive enhancements such as these to the DC area rapid transit.

Posted by: No11 | January 13, 2009 1:45 PM

There's another angle that isn't really mentioned here - historic preservation that isn't based on a design aesthetic or archetectural details but rather the nature of the tenants occupying those very buildings. We've all heard the outcry over the so-called homogenization of the cultural and consumer landscapes, starting with Times Sq and ending at every mall in the US (ironic that downtown Annapolis' struggle to maintain its historical charm has resulted in the loss of retail traffic to the new mega-village in Parole) Is Apple's arrival in G'town a sign that it too will join these ranks? Or as it already?

At any rate, aren't these boards and commissions ADVISORY in nature anyway? Can't Apple just go straight to the Planning Commission or DC Council, who makes the ultimate decision on this?

Posted by: t-jas | January 13, 2009 1:47 PM

Maybe there is space at Union Station.

Posted by: jnrentz@aol.com | January 13, 2009 1:51 PM

apple go to downtown DC and built the store the way you want, stop being like walmart, that they use power to get away with anything they want, just like walmart in Virginia trying to mess up historical land the same way apple is trying to mess up Georgetown

Posted by: ernestto25 | January 13, 2009 1:56 PM

The word "Old" Georgetown Board is appropriate, I sincerely dis-like these people, and believe they are truly on a power trip of some kind. It's just brick and stone, geesh, get over it.

If they are so big on preservation, then why isn't there some kind of museum or statue represeting the history of Georgetown being all black at one time, it was an old raggedy part of town back then, but you would think the streets were paved of gold and not dirt.

They are all phony, and smell of snobbery.

Thank you.

Posted by: weaverf | January 13, 2009 2:09 PM

As noted by capsfan77, in order for the right side of the page not to be cut off, I also have to look at the comments section in order to be able to read the blog.

Posted by: klesefske | January 13, 2009 2:17 PM

m1903a4 had it exactly right. How are we supposed to comment (much less vote in a poll) on this issue meaningfully without any idea what the design is? If it's like the NYC examples, I'd vote FOR. If it's like the Bethesda monstrosity, I'd vote NO. I've fought with the Fine Arts Commission twice in the last 15 years. We found a compromise both times. I'm pretty sure Apple could manage it, too.

Posted by: dpwdpw | January 13, 2009 2:17 PM

I guess i would get more riled up about this, but I never go to Georgetown. It's a pain to get there, the people are annoying, and most of the stores are overpriced. Give me U street and a little bit of culture any day. You'd be hard-pressed to find a whiter, blander part of town anywhere in the US.

Posted by: whodeykm | January 13, 2009 2:18 PM

I guess i would get more riled up about this, but I never go to Georgetown. It's a pain to get there, the people are annoying, and most of the stores are overpriced. Give me U street and a little bit of culture any day. You'd be hard-pressed to find a whiter, blander part of town anywhere in the US.

Posted by: whodeykm | January 13, 2009 2:18 PM

===========================================

I could not agree more!

Posted by: scrappyc20001 | January 13, 2009 2:24 PM

"So ask me if I care that Apple is feuding with the self-absorbed neighbors in Georgetown? They deserve each other because in the end there still won't be a location in my neighborhood."


I've lived in Georgetown since '90 and believe me, there is NO feud with us neighbors. I have no idea who is on this Preservation board. I do however follow their antics in the Northwest Current, and they are useful -- they're the main people blocking Marc Teren's attempt to chop up the estate on Wisconsin & Q.

Still, given that this facade is atrocious to start with, they ought to cut Apple a break.

Having an Apple store at that location would be awesome!

(And yeah, Marc -- can we get a link to the proposed design?)

Posted by: Georgetwoner | January 13, 2009 2:27 PM

Same old DC resistance to change. That's why the architecture is so booooring. Why the buildings and homes all look alike and are all the same height. And why we'll always be a second-tier city because we have a well-earned reputation for being so hard to deal with.

Hard to believe that people are so concerned with keeping an area looking like it did 100 years ago.

Posted by: ceefer66 | January 13, 2009 2:43 PM

Abigail Adams:
"[Georgetown] is the very dirtiest hole I ever saw for a place of any trade, or respectability of inhabitants."

http://hoyasuxa.wordpress.com/

Go Syracuse!

Posted by: Natstural | January 13, 2009 2:48 PM

What Apple needs to do is to redesign the proposed Georgetown store so that it looks like a Little Tavern. Since there used to be one on M Street, between 33rd and 34th Streets, how could there possibly be an objection?

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/129/369898420_951af2139e.jpg

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | January 13, 2009 2:50 PM

The individuals that decided to thwart the expansion efforts of an extremely profitable business have proven themselves completely out of touch with reality. Apple Inc stores are among the most profitable retail establishments, per square foot, in the world. Tax revenues, tourism, and new jobs appear to have been thrown out with bath water. The people that voted against this new profitable enterprise should be the next to go.

Posted by: thw2001 | January 13, 2009 2:51 PM

Sounds like a group of old queens trying to make themselves relevant. They probably sit around bragging to themselves about how much they have put the company through by making them jump through so many hoops. Perhaps this is one of those pay to play deals where a little under the table money to the members of the preservation board from Apple may get things moving. G'town has a Gap, Starbucks, I think a pottery barn and a CVS on its main streets. I think that store use to be a Britches clothing store too. I dont think opening an apple store takes away anything from georgetown that the other stores haven't already.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 13, 2009 2:52 PM

Go Syracuse!

Posted by: Natstural | January 13, 2009 2:48 PM
-------------------------------------------
Typical of someone who comes from a school situation in the tundra zone, a school where the way to distinguish the mosquitoes from the students is the listen for "please" and "thank you." If it says "please" and "tank you," it's probably a mosquito.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | January 13, 2009 2:58 PM

@ Overweight Gtown fan: (aka sasquatchbigfoot)

What is Tank you? I know that Georgetown Students are known more for the J. Crew blazers and trust funds than any actual brains, but if you are going to insult another school, at least spell everything right.

Your comment didn't even make sense. Sorry if you are not a fan of one of the brightest first ladies this country has ever had.

Posted by: Natstural | January 13, 2009 3:06 PM

Is it just me?

How can I decide whether I agree with the decision without seeing an artist's rendering of the proposed storefront?

I have read this story backward and forward and can't believe a question begging this hard to be asked hasn't been.

Posted by: DCboyGone2AZ | January 13, 2009 3:10 PM

Perhaps Apple should put to large breasts out there on their store front .. one for each boob headed organization: "Old Georgetown Board" and "Georgetown's Advisory Neighborhood Commission". Even their names sound old, stuffy and gas filled. If that doesn't work out for the honorable board members perhaps they'll approve that electric golf cart and denture cleaning store they're all secretly wishing for.

Posted by: boblas | January 13, 2009 3:36 PM

"I guess i would get more riled up about this, but I never go to Georgetown. It's a pain to get there, the people are annoying, and most of the stores are overpriced. Give me U street and a little bit of culture any day. You'd be hard-pressed to find a whiter, blander part of town anywhere in the US."

----------

Georgetown is one of DC's most beautiful and walkable neighborhoods. It has many rowhomes that predate Washington DC, a thriving waterfront, and vistas across the Potomac. Its also extremely easy to get to from both Arlington, and anywhere downtown (I take the Circulator from Shaw 3 miles away...it takes 12 minutes)

As far as being overpriced shops, Gtown definitely has its share, but hey...that's generally what happens with gentrification, which was bound to happen given the fact that its such a desirable neighborhood. But hey, no one's forcing you to shop at Barneys or Cusp. There are plenty of affordable options too.

And as far as U street goes, its getting just as gentrified and overpriced as Georgetown but without all the shopping options. Have you actually every been on U street? Its mostly restaurants, clubs, and bars with a a handful of boutiques thrown in.

But hey, its cool to hate on Gtown, so have fun trying to actually shop on U street. I suspect I'll see you back at M & Wisconsin though, or more likely the Big Boxes in the burbs.

Posted by: DistrictDirt | January 13, 2009 3:39 PM

This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard....Apple logo BAD!...a million GTown Starbucks and their damned logo all over the place...that's OK! And what about Urban Outfitters with their awful broken glass a la gunshot front...makes Georgetown look like Anacostia...well I hope they eventually settle on something so that Clarendon won't be so crowded all the time...Apple would be far better served moving in on Chinatown

Posted by: dookas | January 13, 2009 3:51 PM

So, without showing us the pictures of the design, you want readers to vote & comment on the proposed Georgetown Apple Store, and criticize the decision of the preservationists? Typical.

If not for decisions like the one you wrote about, there would be no Georgetown in the first place. Think about it.

You and fellow Post reporter Michael Schrwartzman should get together and roam the streets beating up your enemies, the preservationists and gentrifiers that are destroying the District.

Oh, wait, people come to the District to see the old fixed up pretty buildings. Duh.

Posted by: Buddy6 | January 13, 2009 3:53 PM

There is a movement already underway to encourage Apple to forget the crime rising GT and set up shop on the 14th and U Street corridors where public transit and parking is available. The U street area is now what GT once was a decade or more ago.

Posted by: winston61 | January 13, 2009 5:03 PM

How about an image of the proposed design?

Posted by: princeleo | January 13, 2009 5:09 PM

I think Marc didn't show the proposed Apple store on purpose. He's doing a meta analysis here -- describe a design but don't show it, take some gratuitous shots at ANCs, then ask readers if agree with him. Not surprisingly, most people agree that ANCs suck and the Apple store should go in. But maybe his real question is, how many people can he get to go along with his position when they have no idea whether he's right or not?

Posted by: simpleton1 | January 13, 2009 6:20 PM


"Rather, the storefront's current face has kind of an impersonal, phony, 1970s aura about it. "

Wrong. It has an impersonal, phony 1770s aura about it. It's a bland Georgian Revival in a real Federal neighborhood. But you'd rather have an impersonal, phony, 2000s aura? Trying to bring the comfort of the suburbs into the city?

The links to the NY and London stores show facades that successfully integrated into their context in a way that this design falls WAY short. Basically, the Apple guys got lazy and tried to shoehorn their stock plans into a space that deserves some more creativity.

Plus, the link to the CFA agenda shows two dozen or so cases, nearly all of which were approved. And yet you singled out the one design that CLEARLY is the greatest departure from the historic context of the street as an example of the Board running on a petty power trip?

Marc, you really ought to leave saving DC's neighborhoods to Frank Winstead. At least he was elected.

Posted by: sacomment | January 14, 2009 9:44 AM

If we can't get an Apple store in Georgetown, the terrorists have won.

Hey, put it in GW instead -- it costs more to go there and it has more prestige.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!!!!

Yeagh!

Posted by: bs2004 | January 14, 2009 9:52 AM

I didn't realize these boards and the relevant ANC were so paternalistic. Must consist of MoCo emigres...

Posted by: stodge | January 14, 2009 11:26 AM

Apple should dump the plans for a Georgetown store. DC is so much more than that bloated see-and-be-seen glorified strip mall.

Apple should instead build a store in the downtown area or an up and coming area. Two spots that are good are the old convention center, since torn down (downtown), and Columbia Heights (up and coming), which has a Best Buy, Target, Staples, and BB&B. Seems like a target rich environment.

One note on the downtown location, it is already slated for a high end hotel and retail, so it would be a perfect fit. Plus it is five blocks from the White House and near three METRO stations. Georgetown has horrible METRO access. Why build a store in DC that is harder to get to than the Pentagon City Apple store?

Posted by: PBDC | January 14, 2009 3:32 PM

How about the author posting some names and address that people can write to, so we can express our opinions directly to those who make these decisions. Until then, we are apparently all preaching to the choir. Believe it or not, letter still actually mean something.

Posted by: Dcislander1 | January 14, 2009 7:27 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2010 The Washington Post Company