Dear PoP – Some Serious Fencing Edition

DSCN6988, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

“Hello PoP,

Have you ever done a post on that weird blue house?

It’s the only one in the area I’ve seen with a barbed wire prison motif.”

It’s funny I have noticed this house at the corner of Monroe and Holmead. I’ve never seen barbed wire around a residential house before. Sometimes I believe it’s better if I don’t think too deeply on these matters…


21 Comment

  • That fence violates two aspects of public space regulations. If it was put up recently, I’d call a DDOT Public space inspector. Fences in public space are restricted to a maximum of 42″ above grade. Barbed wire fences are not allowed in residential zones.

  • On Saturday afternoon I saw the cops show up at this house. I am not sure for what but the woman inside the fence was in a full panic, looking like a trapped dog behind a fence.

  • mildly unrelated: years ago there was an amazing article in the city paper about a guy who put a fence around his property. an ugly, dangerous looking thing that was supposed to keep people out of his house. it didn’t. they stole his things. eventually they stole his fence. and he still had to pay a fine. great story, wish i could find it.

  • Judging from the angle of the barbed wire, it looks as if the fence is designed to keep something in rather than keep someone out. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

  • we almost bought a house down the block from that house, and that was one of the (many) reasons we didnt. Living nearby however, we frequently walk past it. Ive seem a full on game room (with a sweet looking pool table) in the basement and several folks smoking some strong-smelling dope outside, have also seen a fair bit of police activity over the last couple of years. I dont know if it is some kind of group home or shared space where folks go to hangout…but I wouldnt miss it if it ended up in the hands of other folks who wouldnt have the barbed wire and problems.

  • I live right around the corner from that house, and have never seen anything like what BS is reporting. The residents I see most often are maternal types, middle aged and older ladies. There is a large, potentially nasty dog, though, and perhaps the fence is keeping him in.

  • that dog gives me the willies!

  • I live down the block from that house too…I get the impression that it’s occupied by 1-2 families first floor/upstairs and 2-4 single men who live in the basement apt…the cops do come through there once in awhile, but some of the police activity on that corner is for stuff that happens in the street rather than at that house.

    The fence has definitely been there for a long time – I imagine that it is from an earlier, less posh time in CH history…Either way, it has the potential to be a really nice house if someone put their mind to it…

  • I’ve seen a guy passed out beside a bottle on that small balcony on the Holmead side; middle of the afternoon on a Sunday seems to be par for the course in that area.

  • Funny, I barely notice the barbed wire when I go buy, but the balconies are really unseemly. They’re concrete decks, and the doors are some kind of veneer-that-looks-like-plywood.

  • er.. that’s “go by”.

  • I lived across the street from this house for years. I think it’s a boarding house and I’m pretty sure MS13 members lived there for a while because I kept finding MS 13 tags all around the neighborhood. Back in 2005, after the bus driver was shot in Mount Pleasant there was a lot of scary-looking gang types hanging around and quite frankly it was worrisome.

    About two years ago, there was a crazy late-night drive-by in front of the house. No one was shot but no one called the cops either. I often wondered if someone inside the house was the target.

    Crazy neighborhood

  • Looks like a fence to keep the dogs from getting out. Are pit bulls still banned in the District?

  • I don’t think DC has ever had an anti-pit bull law. Graham was/is trying to introduce one tho:

    They’re ironically calling the bill the “pit bull protection act”. Sounds like another feel-good-but-just-another-unenforced-law…

  • I concur with Dee Montgomerry Pennyworth, it seems like the people who live there have somewhat of an interred existence. Granted, they appear to be able to drink beer and shoot pool freely, but wouldn’t be surprised if that is the extent of their liberties on the compound.

  • The fence has been there since at least Sept 2004 when I moved into the neighborhood.

  • they have church up in there on wednesday nights

  • This post is fine, but the comments here are really offensive. Perhaps a discussion about the fence is warranted as a neighborhood issue, but the rest is gossipy and base. Essentially, a lot of readers here have taken a house they find unappealing and feel free to judge the inhabitants largely on ethnic grounds. Do you not think they might not have the Internet and might also not be engaged in the community enough to check the Prince of Petworth site? Maybe they don’t, but there are a lot of liberties being taken here on assumptions.

    Commenting on the decor? Really? This is a transitional neighborhood and times are tough. Maybe they can’t afford faux venetian renovations and recessed lighting yet.

    I have had nothing but pleasant experiences with the residents. In fact, one day my car was hit and run while I was in it out in front of their house. Guy took my door off. They got the license plate number, offered to talk to the police and served as witnesses for me. They don’t have a pit pull; they have a Rotwieller; never seen problems with him. We say hi all the time. I have never smelled dope.

    What difference does it make if they have a game room or how many people live there? I sure would not appreciate people looking into my house and posting things on the Internet about me judging my furniture and decorating habits. Free speech, sure, but this is really high school lunch table talk, and maybe you weren’t drunk in your own house last weekend, but I bet you or someone you know was stumbling around outside Wonderland, which is acceptable, because people there went to college and their is no barbed wire.

  • Brendan is correct, this fence is more than likely in violation of public space regulations and should be called in, so an inspector can come out.

  • I’ll agree with the penultimate commentator. I know one of the guys that lives in the house and he’s an incredibly hard worker who’s been in the country legally for over 15 years. And yes, there is a church that meets there on Wednesday nights.

    I know you all would feel much more comfortable if it was a group house full of twenty somethings but really, lay off. You live in Petworth and Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant instead of Georgetown or Silver Springs for a reason–hopefully because you get to share the city experience with people who are different than you. Part of that is going to mean looking at fences that far predate your entrance into the neighborhood (when trust me, you would have wanted a fence if your door was that flimsy). If you’ve got a problem with it, make like BS and don’t move into our neighborhood, because we don’t need more of this ridiculousness…

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