The Acacia Building
Historic Tax Credit Certification
Washington, D.C.

Robinson & Associates served as the primary contractor and historic preservation consultants for the completion of Part One and Part Two of the Historic Preservation Tax Credit Certification on the Home Office of the Acacia Mutual Life Insurance Company. Situated across from the U.S. Capitol Building, the Acacia Building is a monolithic 1936 Classical Revival structure with Art Deco detailing, and was designed by the New York firm of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, perhaps best known as the architects of the Empire State Building. The firm later designed a major seven-story addition to the building in 1953-54 to complete the building’s original plan for expansion. To qualify the building for tax certification on work undertaken during renovation, Robinson & Associates prepared a National Register of Historic Places nomination, which was accepted by local historic preservation authorities and the National Park Service. Although the 1953 addition was not accepted because of its age, it was determined to be a contributing element because of its similarity in massing and scale and its role in the original plans to accommodate future growth. The National Register listing qualified the renovation project for substantial tax credit.

Mitsui Honkan (Headquarters) Office Tower Addition and Historic Consultation
Tokyo, Japan

In 2002, Robinson & Associates joined the project team of Cesar Pelli & Associates to provide expertise for connecting a modern office tower to the historic ca. 1929 Beaux-Arts Mitsui Honkan (Headquarters) bank building in Tokyo, designed by New York architectural firm Trowbridge & Livingston. The Mitsui Fodusan development group requested that Western preservation philosophy be incorporated into design decisions for the Honkan building, which had been recently listed as an “Important Cultural Property” in Japan. Robinson & Associates participated in a series of meetings with the client, the architectural firm, and notable experts in historic preservation in Tokyo to establish design solutions which fit current preservation philosophies in both Japan and the United States. Of particular concern was the treatment of a simple, unarticulated rear elevation of the Honkan building – which became a focal point when incorporated into the new multistory lobby of the office tower. The design solution was a sophisticated glass art piece that repeated the monumental Corinthian colonnade on the other three principal facades of the Honkan building. Finally, the new office tower – similar in massing, scale, and materials to the original building – completed the plan for expansion.

Hayes Manor Historic Context Report
Chevy Chase, MD

Built in 1767, Hayes Manor is one of the best preserved Georgian houses in the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2002, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute purchased Hayes Manor, which adjoins the institute’s Chevy Chase campus. Anticipating expansion that would have encroached on the house’s historic setting, the Montgomery County Historic Preservation Commission requested a historic context report as part of the project review process and to help guide future treatment of the historic property. Robinson & Associates worked with project architects to complete the historic context report, which required a narrative history of the property and identification of significant features of the house’s architecture and its setting. Research was conducted in local and national repositories and oral histories were recorded from descendents of Hayes Manor owners in order to evaluate the potential significance of the original 1767 sections and later additions, as well as the property’s landscape and circulation patterns, a terraced garden, remnants of a nineteenth-century barn, a monument marking the family cemetery, and a bungalow that was constructed on the property in 1931.