The Washington Harbour, the Folger Library and a small newsstand were singled out along with 10 other architectural designs at the second annual Mayor's Architectural Design Awards, presented yesterday by Mayor Marion Barry at the District Building.
The awards, which honor "significant" contributions to the esthetic environment of Washington, were given out to 10 architectural firms, with one firm, Hartman-Cox Architects, winning five awards. Sixty-two projects were submitted.
"There has been a definite trend toward design of quality buildings in Washington in the last five years," said Barry, who brought up the sticky politics of city development a few times as he strayed from his prepared speech. "The face of the city is changing, I think for the better -- though some don't like it," he said, referring to the mine fields of building in the District.
He was more specific when the Merit Award of Urban Design was given to Arthur Cotton Moore Associates for the Washington Harbour in Georgetown. The enormous, boatlike luxury building by the Potomac River came under heavy fire from its conception by citizens' groups that opposed the plan to build on the last piece of privately owned land on the waterfront, which they wanted as a public park. When developers went ahead with plans, the groups then opposed the size and style of the complex. The Commission of Fine Arts, a federal advisory body, agreed, recommending that it not be built. Barry issued the building permit anyway. "It's a real victory that it got done -- and the place turned out to be a wonderful meeting place on the water for all of Washington," said Barry with a satisfied smile.
Arthur Cotton Moore was pleased, too. "It was extremely controversial," he said, clutching his plaque. "And extremely successful -- the public loves Washington Harbour."
Hartman-Cox won two First Awards for Architecture: one for a renovation and addition at the Folger Shakespeare Library and another for the restoration of the Sears House, which it designed along with Geier Brown Renfrow, and John Milner & Associates. The firm also won a Merit Award for Architecture with Smith Segreti Tepper McMahon, and Oehrlein & Associates, for an office building at 1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, and one for the St. Patrick's Episcopal Church and Day School. Finally, the firm won a Citation for Architecture for work at the Van Ness Metro station.
A citation was also given to the Mones Group Architecture for Jimmy's, a small enclosed vending stand on the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. "I wanted to find a proper surrounding for Jimmy, the elderly man that ran it, that was functional for him," said Sherry Mones, who designed the space.
Other winners in the competition included:
A First Award for Architecture to Jennings and Associates Architects for the Bacon House "Mews."
A First Award for Applied Research to Ronald J. Tomasso for his master's thesis "Alley: Capillaries of the City."
Two Merit Awards for Architecture to Notter Finegold & Alexander Inc. and John Andrews International for the Intelsat World Headquarters, and to Jennings and Associates Architects for the George Camp Keiser Library and the Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Research Center for Middle Eastern Studies of the Middle East Institute.
Two Citations for Architecture to Robert A. Bell for a residence at 4436 Klingle St. NW, and Robert Schwartz Associates for the Logan School Condominiums.
Two individuals won special recognition: Howard Mackey, former dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at Howard, and Joseph Miller, professor and former director of the Urban Design Program in the School of Engineering and Architecture at Catholic University.