Apple, Inc.’s design plans for a store at 1229 Wisconsin Ave. have, after a 15-month-long ordeal, been approved by Georgetown’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission, the Old Georgetown Board and, yesterday, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.

The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts approved the design plans yesterday following long-awaited approval from the OGB, a major step for the computer retailer. Apple now awaits a final building permit from the District before construction can begin.

The OGB and the ANC have continually asked for revisions to the company’s designs since Apple’s first presentation in Sept. 2007. Both neighborhood boards have been working with Apple to ensure that its designs complement Georgetown’s existing historic architecture.

Apple presented a total of four redesigns to the ANC and the OGB before receiving the nod of approval from the ANC at its Feb. 5 meeting. The designs varied widely, from a two-story storefront comprised entirely of glass to the white-brick front with dentil molding, the approved design. The new drawings, which are strikingly similar to the original submission, feature a large glass wall front on the bottom floor with four windows along the second, compared to five in the original design. The roofline, although slightly lower, imitates those of the surrounding buildings.

Only two days after the ANC’s approved design, the OGB suggested Apple make additional alterations to the treatment of the glass storefront to address issues of scale. Apple then returned to the OGB’s March 5 meeting with the modified plans.

Thomas Luebke, secretary of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and spokesperson for the Old Georgetown Board, said the OGB approved of the project unanimously and without further suggestions for improvement.

“[Apple] brought in some things that developed the storefront further, as requested,” he said.

Luebke cited specific revisions to the large main windows, which are now divided into smaller panels.

Now that Apple has finally attained its long-sought-after concept approval, the company will file for a building permit with the District of Columbia and the plans will be resubmitted to the OGB for final review. The timetable still remains uncertain, though, as to when Apple will be able to open its doors on Wisconsin Avenue.

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