updated 10:30 am EST, Fri February 6, 2009
Georgetown store rejected
A revised design proposal for a Georgetown Apple Store in DC has been rejected, writes the Washington Post. In spite of hints that final approval was imminent, the three members of the Old Georgetown Board are said to have ruled against Apple's latest redesign, which was altered to conform the proposed store to the aesthetics of the neighborhood. Instead of its typical full-sized glass storefront, Apple is said to have scaled down to a first-floor pane of glass, measuring some 35 feet long with double doors in the center.
The board insists that it has told Apple repeatedly that a store must conform with the detailing and bay windows of nearby shops. "We're frustrated a little bit because we haven't gotten a response to our fairly consistent request," board member David Cox is reported to have told Apple architect Karl Backus.
Though Backus responded by saying Apple is not "purposefully ignoring your suggestions," he also expressed willingness to return with a better design that would match surrounding buildings. The rejection has sparked disapproval from some businessmen and town officials, notably Neil Albert, the deputy mayor for planning and economic development in Georgetown.
"The community and the Fenty administration are very supportive of this retailer opening its Georgetown store," says Albert. "I'll move quickly to convene separate meetings with the Old Georgetown Board and Apple representatives to reach a consensus design."
Apple first paid for its Georgetown site in 2007, spending over $13 million towards a three-story building on Wisconsin Avenue. While the building in question -- slated to be demolished and rebuilt -- is only 24 years old, the major issue is believed to the surrounding edifices, some which are over 100 years old and use more traditional stonework that draws in shoppers and tourists.