In a flurry of out-of-court action, developer Oliver T. Carr yesterday proposed preserving the historic facade of the Keith-Albee building in downtown Washington in exchange for special District government help in developing the square surrounding that building.*tCarr made his proposal a day after Superior Court Judge William E. Stewart J., refused to issue an injunction sought by a citizen preservation group to bar Carr's plan to raze the 68-year-old building at 15 and G streets NW.
That action cleared the way for Carr to demolish the Beaux Arts facades. A representative of his company said it would be done.
Yesterday's proposal came a few hours after Carr had lunch with James O. Gibson, assistant city administrator for planning and development.
At about 4 p.m., Gibson said Carr called him. "He proposed to retain the facades at his own expense with no federal or city subsidy," Gibson said.
"In order to do so, he would want to have the city work with him," Gibson said, obtaining city permits, an alley closing, building height increases, and other demolition permits which Carr needs to clear the way for the $60 million office and shopping complex he plans for the square.
Gibson said he tried to suggest a compromise to Carr because "it's inefficient and bloody to leave folks out there to fight it out" while inflation pushes up building costs.*tThe city has supported Carr's development as a key part of redeveloping downtown. At the same time the city has been trying to satisfy citizen demands for historic preservation.
Gibson said Carr promised to send him the proposal in writing today. City officials will decide whether it is acceptable.
Norman M. Glasgow, Carr's attorney, said that under the proposal the city "must do certain things within a specified period of time" or Carr would still be free to tear down the facades.