The Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission building in Hyattsville’s historic district will be demolished beginning this week.
Contractors with Werrlein Properties, which plans to build row homes and a handful of traditional single-family homes on the site, will begin pulling the building down piece by piece in the coming days.
In a recent email to neighbors, managing partner Jonathan Werrlein outlined a number of steps contractors will take to minimize the demolition on the area, from fencing to pest control to minimizing dust and runoff.
“We are aware that the removal of this building may cause consternation for the few residents that live near the site over the next couple of months,” he wrote.
The more significant impact to neighbors will be the loss of the 115,000-square-foot building, which was first built in 1939 and later expanded in 1953 and 1963.
“Built with buff-colored brick and decorative elements of Indiana limestone, the building was simple, yet, unique in its Art Deco-influenced ornamentation both for Hyattsville and the Washington area,” noted the Hyattsville Preservation Association.
But the building has sat empty for years, and while neighborhood opposition killed a previous effort to redevelop the property, no one had ever put forward a credible proposal to do anything with the building, such as a community center.
Residents have some concerns about the design of the new housing development, but in the end a plan always beats no plan. The fate of the WSSC building was sealed by decisions made years ago; it’s just coming to fruition now.