On November 6, the 14th Street mixed-use development known as “Liz” was officially dedicated, with city officials, Whitman-Walker Health, Fivesquares Development and Annabelle Selldorf giving speeches at the ceremony. “Let this project be a reminder that housing, cultural space, and medical care are imperative to how this city moves forward,” said D.C. Mayor Bowser.
Developed by Fivesquares Development and Whitman-Walker Health, which specializes in caring for the LGBTQ community and those with HIV and AIDS, the project preserved and renovated two historic buildings on site – the Belmont Garage and the Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center – and added new construction. The ground floor is occupied by retail shops and the Whitman-Walker Cultural Center; the second floor contains Whitman-Walker Health; and the third floor is shared by the Goethe Institut and Fivesquares’ offices. Floors four to seven have 78 rental apartments, with 12 of these affordable. Future Green Studio designed the outdoor spaces, and a new piece of public art by Yinka Shonibare stands at the corner of the project. CORE architecture + design served as executive architects.
The building’s name honors the legacy of Whitman-Walker’s Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center, which has provided care to generations of D.C.’s LGBTQ individuals, in large part due to a generous gift made by the late HIV activist and actress. Andy Altman, a principal owner and co-founder of Fivesquares, told those attending the ceremony his company’s partnership with Whitman-Walker is a nationwide model for joint ventures that help sustain the financial health of nonprofit organizations to enable them to continue providing services to the community.