‘Pick two of your favorites from these images’ — Take this survey to help shape the next decade of Capitol Hill development

In November, CHS reported on the process to update the Capitol Hill Design Guidelines — Rule #1: No ugly buildings, we quipped. The guidelines, which haven’t been updated since 2005, serve as a neighborhood-specific vetting framework for projects that go through the city’s broader design review process. These guidelines inform how design review boards evaluate the exterior aesthetic of proposed projects (the guidelines include metrics such as building materials and building shape).

Community groups and neighbors highly engaged in the effort have provided feedback to shape the update — but officials are also collecting preferences from respondents via this Capitol Hill Design Guidelines Update survey:

It’s actually kind of fun to fill out. The survey gives respondents a selection of images showing various real-world, many on-Hill example of design properties like pedestrian-level landscaping, street-level retail, incorporation of art and sculpture, storefronts, and materials. We had a difficult time zeroing in on the limit of two selections in each category and are looking forward to seeing the results of the survey.

It’s almost as good as our infamous Capitol Hill Ugly/Not Ugly survey of 2014. Set aside 15 minutes and dive in. You have until the end of the month to help shape the next decade of Capitol Hill development.

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13 thoughts on “‘Pick two of your favorites from these images’ — Take this survey to help shape the next decade of Capitol Hill development

  1. I think we have to look a little further afield for greatness.

    On a local level the loveless building offers a vision of what could have been. Even Mr Anhalt could guide us on how to create density with an architectal flourish.

    If art and crafts was the movement then, what do we call the cement board blocks that we have now ? ugly !

    • I know a nice brick and wood mixed use building being built at the corner of 19th Ave East and East Mercer. Not everyone is building concrete board blocks.

    • I don’t like to feel that I live in the past, but it’s just hard to find examples of something that is aesthetically pleasing and has some level of craftsmanship in any of these.

      Sure it will cost a little more, but I imagine Mr Loveless made his money back many times over with both business as an architect and also renting out his property. It continues to be a joy to walk by and visit.

  2. I would like to see a ban on “Juliet balconies.” They are very small and therefore unused by residents, and they are a huge negative as far as the overall design of a building. My understanding is that they are so common because the total square footage of the balconies counts as the required “open space,” allowing developers to not include open space otherwise and to build to the property lines. Can anyone confirm this?

    • I can confirm that is not correct—the city has minimum area and dimensions for qualifying open spaces. I believe it is a minimum dimension of 6 feet in depth and an area of no less than 60 square feet.

    • I believe (having added a pair to my backyard cottage) that they are allowed within the setback from a property line, where a full balacony would not be.

      Atleast that was why mine were allowed – I wanted a full 4ft, but was only allowed 18 inches. But it provides some outdoor space.

    • Thank you, dang. However, I am guessing that at least some of the small balconies are about 6′ x 10′, so they would qualify as open space. Why else would developers and architects include them in their designs, knowing that they are not used at all by tenants because they are so small? In all my time walking around Capitol Hill, I have NEVER seen one of these balconies in use!