Judging Buildings


This is the Lamont Lofts located at 701 Lamont Street, NW. I think it looks pretty good. I’m especially digging the balconies and big windows. What do you think – thumbs up or down?


15 Comment

  • I think it’s very plain. Would probably be nice to live in, but does not add any charm or visual interest to a streetscape. Just a step above a plain cement box.

  • Looks like the back of a 2 1/2 star hotel.

  • From the outside it looks way too “boxie” – institutional for me. But It probaby is nice inside. Then again, Maybe it’s an improvement on what was there before…

  • Big Thumbs down. The outside isnt that bad, but I have seen the interior and there are flaws galore. This is a very poorly constructed building, I even heard that they had multiple leaks from the roof shortly after selling out.

  • This is my college dorm in an uglier brick shade with balconies tacked on.

  • A contrary view — I don’t know anything about construction quality, but I think this is a very cool rehab (I am almost certain) of an old factory space … in which case it is a cool conversion. Also, the photos I’ve seen of the inside of units that have been for sale from time to time have always looked totally sweet.

  • From a house history I did on the block: The Arcade Sunshine Laundry complex once dominated the north side of the 700 block of Lamont Street, built in stages beginning in the 1930s. The laundry was owned by Leonard R. Viver, a 1935 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. While its main facility was located on Lamont Street, it served various locations throughout the city, such as those found at 3506 14th Street, NW, 2480 16th Street, NW, 4000 Cathedral Avenue, NW, 1301 and 5415 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 808 Florida Avenue, NW, 2023 I Street, NW, 4859 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, 3209 Mount Pleasant Street, NW, 612 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, and 101 Rhode Island Avenue, NW. The 1950 addition to the laundry that replaced houses once located at 701 to 709 Lamont Street (razed in 1948) was converted into loft condominiums beginning in 2005.

  • I was inside this building and on its roof in 1999. It was a derelict printing factory, something out of an old movie, with electrical equipment so old I kept pictures for display. It was purchased by venture capitalists (named themselved “Young Technocrats”) and it was to be a dot com incubator. Oops, then came the dot com bust. The loft housing that it became was first in what was still a completely rough hood. The lofts were designed with the existing building rather than a complete tear-down – authentic industrial space. When I went there in ’99 for work and looked around the area I thought “I would never ever want to live in this neighborhood.” But now I do live nearby. I don’t know anything about its construction woes, but the condo association receives payments from cellular telephone companies whose antennas are attached to the abandoned chimney.

  • Laundry, not printing….

  • Paul Williams, keep reading this blog!! I would love to hear your insight, I’m sure sooner or later the House of the Day is one you know something about…not to mention the cool old signs. Thanks for the history.

  • @Paul Williams I appreciate the insight as well.

  • i like it, it has a cool industrial look (for obvious reasons), i think there are big industrial chimneys on the other side of the building which is always cool.

  • It doesn’t do a thing for me. Except for the fact that an old building was reused and repurposed as housing it falls pretty flat and uninteresting.

  • Linens of the Week is an interesting neighbor; it’s a private company, so we don’t have any of their financial information, and a large employer. Of course, there was a big fire on Thanksgiving morning and the fire dep’t had a hard time getting in. A number of managers live in the neighborhood, though the Latina workers leave trash all over the block, since they literally sit down on the street (or curb) to eat. (Are these ladies legal?) The place seems to do very good business, and I’ve seen restroom air fresheners with their logo as far as Richmond.

  • The building was built in the 50’s and remains one of the only true loft conversions in the city. I have been inside a few of the units and they have a NYC loft appeal to them, I like them.

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