The last demolition permit issued for a historic building before the new landmark law took effect Saturday went to the Oliver T. Carr Company for the Albee-Keith's Theater building, an early 20th century beaux arts structure at 15th and G streets NW.
Carr company officials, who picked up the permit Friday, said they have no immediate plans to raze the building, although some interior demolition work may be done.
The fate of the building depends largely on whether the developer receives an Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help pay for incorporating the facade of the Albee building into a $60 million shopping and office complex.
A decision on the grant is expected this month, according to officials of the city and the Carr firm. Carr's demolition permit will expire in six months.
City officials said they believe Carr may spare the Albee building, chiefly because he needs two concessions from the city before he can build a mall: the closing of a public alley, and an amendment to the zoning regulations governing height limitations on 15th Street.
A Carr compnay official confirmed that "until these issues are resolved, we can't decide for sure what we're going to do about the Albee Building. But something has to be done before the demolition permit expires in September."
The firm originally applied for demolition permits for the Albee building and two other landmark structures on the same block, the Metropolitan Bank building and the Rhodes Tavern, early in 1978. A 180-day delay in demolition was imposed under the old landmark law.