The Rushmore: An Ideal but Challenging Location

Completed Projects, DC, Featured, Multifamily, Washington
Nov 24, 2020

by Kinsley,


Just 10 blocks southeast of Capitol Hill on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, the revitalized Hill East neighborhood was the ideal location for a new modern and more affordable multifamily building – The Rushmore. Though its location added value to the property, it also created multiple challenges for our team throughout construction. 

Surrounded by residential buildings, this was an extremely tight site. During building construction, there was no laydown area and only one access point for material and equipment deliveries. To increase productivity and keep traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue moving, we coordinated just-in-time deliveries and placed a compact, self-erecting crane on the site to place materials exactly where needed. With its telescoping ability and small footprint, the crane also provided the flexibility and lifting power we needed to maneuver materials around low overhead wires.

This property runs parallel to the Metro transit line, increasing the importance of soil stabilization during excavation to avoid a collapse or damaging the subway walls. Crews stabilized the soil and neighboring buildings by sheeting and shoring with soldier piles and timber lagging. Nearly 75 holes, ranging from 15 to 30 feet deep, were drilled for the pile I-beams. To complete the shoring process, timber lagging was installed between each row of beams after they were grouted into place to form a wall around the site’s perimeter. 

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This project also required demolition and renovations to an adjacent existing townhouse. As the last historical building standing on the lot, historical requirements regulated the brick façade could not be removed. To meet the requirement, the townhome’s façade was incorporated into the design of the apartment rental office. To mitigate possible issues with this design, our in-house VDC team overlaid a laser scan point cloud of existing conditions over their 3D Revit model of the new building design. This revealed variances that would affect construction of the brick veneer. Once the deviations were identified, Kinsley developed a plan to make only small adjustments to the brick shelf to keep field construction moving.

With the new building closely bordering neighboring residences, it was crucial that we minimized disruptions. To be a good neighbor, we provided clear communication, continual coordination, and worked closely with the advisory neighborhood commission, the local authorities and the surrounding community. Going a step further, the construction team also helped neighbors install new roofs, decks and fences.

Work wrapped up in August and the six-story multifamily building now houses 117 studio, one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments, ground-floor retail space, below grade parking, bicycle storage, a green roof with a courtyard, a fitness center and a lounge and e-bar.

Categories: Completed Projects, DC, Featured, Multifamily, Washington