APS : Architectural Preservation Services

Projects

The Hecht Company Warehouse

Washington, DC

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Client

Patriot Equities

Completion Date

2008

Background

Built in 1937, the six-story Hecht Company Warehouse was designed in the Streamline Modern manner by engineer Gilbert V. Steel of the New York engineering firm, Abbott and Merkt. The building consists of the original warehouse and four additions, prominently located at the corner of New York Avenue and Fenwick Street. Of significance is the early and extensive use of glass block, particularly striking in the building's quarter-round northwest corner, which supports a large glass block tower. Also noteworthy is the use of black and white glazed bricks in simple, geometric patterns.

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, and it closed after Macy's bought the Hecht's chain in 2006. Patriot Equities, a developer based in Philadelphia, purchased the warehouse in 2007, with plans to incorporate the historic structure into a new retail hub off New York Avenue.

Scope

APS performed an overall survey of the Hecht Company Warehouse in order to evaluate the condition of the masonry and determine the different types of surface staining and soiling. After inspecting both the glazed and unglazed brickwork and noting conditions, APS carried out cleaning trials in inconspicuous yet representative areas. The concern here was to choose products that would thoroughly clean the glazed brick without etching its delicate surface. To determine the most effective as well as least invasive method, APS conducted numerous tests using different products, with varying dilutions and dwell times.