An injunction issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals late Friday night will preserve-at least temporarily-the 177-foot G Street facade of the Albee-Keith's Theatre Building at 15th and G streets NW.
Earlier the same day, a consent order issued by the D.C. Supreme Court barred the Oliver T. Carr Co. from demolishing four of the 11 bays fronting G Street as well as the 15th Street facade of the building before June 25. The company has plans for a $60 million development on the site. City officials agreed to work with the Carr firm between now and June 25 in an effort to find the funds needed to save the facade.
The consent order was issued in response to a suit by Don't Tear It Down, a preservation group.
The federal court action came in a suit by the Committee to Preserve Rhodes Tavern ane the National Processional Route Inc. Steven Truitt, an attorney for the committee, said the suit contends that the city, in granting Carr a permit to demolish the building, did not give proper weight to a recommendation by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) that the facade be retained. The committee also contends that CFA should have referred the matter to the U.S. Advisory Council on Preservation.
The suit was first heard, and dismissed, last month in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The committee filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals and obtained an injunction pending a decision on the appeal.
According to Truitt, the Court of Appeals can either send the case back to the lower court, or it can lift the injunction. Truitt said he did not know when the court would act on the matter.