Judging Buildings


I was amazed to see so many new buildings on the 400 block of N Street, NW. What do you think of ’em? In the photo above do you prefer the one on the left or right – or neither?

A half block away you’ll find these:


Thumbs up or down?

It is quite a contrast to the buildings across the street. The building across the street take up a whole square block and seem to have come straight out of the late 60s or early 70s.


Wild contrast from the more modern ones being built, yeah?


20 Comment

  • I love them… (I could very well be wrong) and I thought they were publicly assisted housing?

  • c’mon builders, where are the front porches??

  • PoP, Thanks for giving props to Ridge, N street, Mt Vernon and Old City Shaw in the last couple days. That is my neighborhood and after reading “good deal or not” from N street posts, I was amazed that so many people are scared of this place. I guess I find the awe that is Shaw and get amazed everyday from something here.

  • I have always liked those houses. I like the street/area too.

  • I love them. Suzane Reatig is the architect:


  • I think they’re fantastic. Very modern with clean lines and simple, minimal features. Quite beautiful. Its like looking a the future of row houses, now!

  • While certainly better than what was there before, I’m not a huge fan of the first pair of buildings. They just remind me of the architecture of my 60’s-era middle school. However, the rowhouses in the second picture I like a lot, very modern take on the classic rowhouse idea.

  • I believe all of the modern buildings were built/ are owned by United House of Prayer (UHOP) and are rental units. At least some are market rate but I don’t know the whole story/history of the development.

    The ones in the top photo were built on the site of a former gas station (sometimes I find tire irons in my yard from said gas station)… which gives an inkling of how the block has changed.

  • Thumbs up!

    Though I bet they look better when the white window coverings aren’t all down.

  • People are afraid of that section of N St. because it is a pretty bad neighborhood. I lived there for over a year until fairly recently and while nothing happened to me (thankfully) my roommates were mugged separately in the same spot a block away by the same person at different time. Another roommate had a gun pulled on him when he was sitting on the front steps smoking a cigarette.

    This neighborhood has a ton of potential, but you couldn’t pay me to live there again, right now it is mainly a shithole.

    Also I wouldn’t want a place where people walking bye could easily see into my house unless I kept the drapes down, it sort of defeats the purpose of having such a big window.

  • Aren’t the older ones public housing? It’s quite a large area, too. Between this one, Kelsey Gardens, and Sursum Corda, there’s an awful lot of public housing in a small area. Of course I realize that these areas are being redeveloped now…but at the time I was looking for my house in 2005, this was a big reason I chose Petworth over Shaw.

  • The older ones are Section 8 – 2nd Northwest Coop. The N Street side is generally fairly quiet (notable exception of shots fired one weekday in July this year), but there’s a lot of action on the 5th Street side.

  • They remind me of the bunker buildings common in Seoul, South Korea. Building codes there require modern buildings to also serve as bunkers in case of invasion.

  • Suzane Reatig (the architect, as previously linked by Jake) has done several apartment buildings and sets of townhouses around Shaw, including at least four buildings that the United House of Prayer rents (including the one I live in). They’re nicely done.

  • Sweet new construction in a shitty neighborhood. Maybe someone could hire Suzane Reatig for some new construction around here in Petworth

  • Come on guys, that’s my neighborhood you’re talking about.

  • There is nothing inherently wrong with neighborhoods with public housing, and as a product of one I resent the implication that there is.

  • Petworth, especially the area around the metro is about equally as sketchy as Shaw is. As a longtime resident of DC and both areas specifically its interesting to see what people are scared of. Shaw isn’t quite as bad as the scaredy cats on this forum are making it out to be..look at the crime maps people…crime especially in dense cities is going to be ubiquitous. Take out your headphones, get off the phone and maybe you wont get jacked by opportunistic criminals that exist everywhere in DC..

  • ignoring the architectural design points here, the urban planning points are ones i think should be looked at.

    the older buildings are all garden apartment buildings, which are a horrible scar on the urban framework of the city.

    the new buildings (i’m not a fan of the design, for what it’s worth), at least fit into the urban framework of the neighborhood.

    porches on them would sure be nice, though!

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