Georgetown Nixes Apple Store Design Again

| News

Apple's fourth attempt at getting approval for its Washington D.C. suburb store design failed Thursday night when the Old Georgetown Board rejected the Mac and iPhone maker's most recent renderings. The board claimed that it supports Apple's plans to open a Georgetown store, but thinks the architectural designs don't fit with the historic district's look, according to the Washington Post.

Apple architect Karl Backus said that the company isn't ignoring the board's suggestions, but board member David Cox said "We're frustrated a little bit because we haven't gotten a response to our fairly consistent request."

The D.C. mayor's office seemed frustrated, too, but with the Old Georgetown Board instead of Apple. Deputy mayor for planning and economic development, Neil Albert, said that the office is "extremely disappointed" with the decision.

He added "The community and the Fenty administration are very supportive of this retailer opening its Georgetown store. I'll move quickly to convene separate meetings with the Old Georgetown Board and Apple representatives to reach a consensus design."

Local business owners have been counting on the Apple Store to help bring in new business, but are worried that the Cupertino-based company may simply walk away from the location instead of trying to gain building design approval from the Old Georgetown Board.

Apple spokesperson Amy Bessette said that despite the company's ongoing frustration with the board, it is committed to opening a store in Georgetown.

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Hey, I’ve never been there, but I have to respect their decision.  It’s important that they maintain a certain look to their neighbourhoood.  Surely Apple, of all companies, understands that.


It’s pretty apparent we’re not getting details about the real beef between the board and Apple. Just what is the sticking point, the big glowing Apple in the facade?

Face it, Apple doesn’t do boring. Georgetown has a look, a feel. Some call it staid and stale. Others call it historic. Whatever you call it, it pretty much seems like it is at odds with the concept of Apple.

Hint: Move along.


Buying property controlled by any sort of covenant or requiring the approval of a board worried about maintaining a certain neighborhood look is foolish. Apple deserves what they get in this instance.


Let us not forget, the store that occupied this space before Apple went after it was FCUK.  And out front was a big FCUK sign.  So, as Tiger said, I don’t think this is about aesthetics, but rather some unreported issue.


I’m an architect - anyone has the google maps street view location they can forward? I’d like to have a look at the neighbourhood. Also any idea where the submissions from Apple can be viewed? There’s always public notification and display of applications i believe - wondering if anyone got photos/ copies. it’d be an interesting read.

Dean Lewis

It is supposed to be going in at 1229 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. If you type that into Google maps, you should get there. you’ll see from the street view the building already has a lot of glass on it. If you go up and down the street, you’ll see other stores with logos prominently displayed.

I think there is something else going on and Apple should just head to Conn. Ave. or something.


Dear Mister Architect
Knock yourself out:


Follow the link in the article folks. It seems pretty obvious what the problem is. Apple wants a giant front window/door. Georgetown does not. As soon as apple looses the big glass front on the first floor, they’ll pass. Apple doesn’t appear to be listening.

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