Monday, August 31, 2015

Project to Deck Over Interstate Begins

Looking north from E Street NW.
Capital Crossing, the massive project to construct buildings over parts of Interstate 395, has begun. The interstate currently runs through parts of SW and NW DC, ending rather abruptly near New York Ave NW. The Capitol Crossing project aims to build five new buildings over an exposed portion of 395 from E St W to Massachusetts Ave NW. The exposed portion is open to the air, but it runs below grade.

There are five buildings planned for the seven acre site including 1,000 underground parking spaces for cars, and almost 500 spots for bikes. The buildings total 2.2 million square feet, consisting of mostly office and retail. The intestate will remain operational during and after construction. When complete, it will exist underground; with new entrance and exit tunnels emerging from Massachusetts Ave and 2nd St NW, respectively. 

You can see renderings here, at the project website. The building designs consist of very DC-typical, squat, unimaginative glass boxes. The way some of the buildings engage the surrounding streets (E Street, especially) are underwhelming at best, detrimental at worst. In better news, F Street will get a new block between 2nd and 3rd, and the Mass Ave frontage looks more promising.

The entire project isn't scheduled to be complete until summer of 2019, as the new buildings will come in phases. However, the changes are already visible and this project promises to continue changing the East End over the next five years.

Area under construction marked. Image and Map Data © Google 2015.