A recessed plaza with an outdoor cafe and shops is planned for the ground level of a 13-story building expected to be started next year over the Metro station entrance at the southwest corner of 14th and I streets NW.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority recently selected the plan of a development team headed by Melvin and Edward Lenkin from three proposals for the razed site now used as a parking lot. Architect Arthur Cotton Moore designed the curving building to have a covered plaza on the corner under the canopy of the upper part of the building.
Moore said that the design will produce a total of 190,000 square feet of office and commercial space. Shops will ring the sunken cafe plaza area that also will include the Metro entrance. "The recessed plaza for the cafe will actually be over the escalator used for Metro access," Moore said.
The building over the east entrance of the McPherson Square Metro station is expected to stimulate further development in the area east of 15th Street and along the 14th Street business corridor that had deteriorated in recent years. This same area is expected to be the scene of a rejuvenation of the old downtown that includes the new convention center site and other related redevelopments north of Pennsylvania Avenue.
Melvin Lenkin, whose firm built half a dozen new downtown buildings in the 1970s, said that the building will be completed in 1983.