Judging Pop Ups


These pop ups are located on Monroe Street, NW just west of 14th Street. I think we may have looked at the one on the left before but it looks like the one on the right is nearly completed. Thumbs up or down? Do you prefer one over the other?



18 Comment

  • By the way, there is a hearing scheduled for a proposed pop up on a home on Park Road near the Giant (1314 Park, I believe). A builder wants to add a fourth story to that building. It’s a great block, with the exception of the weird fire escape on the front of a building a few doors down. Lots of spires on the top of the buildings. I think a fourth story would look out of place there, personally.

    My point is, if you feel strongly for or against pop ups, this would be a chance to weigh in on one. I’ll try to remember to look at the sign on my way home tonight and post the hearing info if people are interested.

  • I like them. It almost looks like the photo was taken from the alley, with the house in the middle being backwards (its front door/porch on the alley side). Or you could view it as the two pop-ups are facing the wrong way. Either way, I dig.

  • to pop or not to pop,

    Do you have more information about that hearing? I am DEFINITELY against a pop up at such a visible location.

  • I will post info tonight. There is one of those big public hearing posters on the door akin to the liquor license signs.

  • Ugh these make me want to vomit because not only are they destroying beautiful original architecture but they look silly especially now with the tiny one squeezed in the middle.

    Is two extra floors really necessary? Ihe one on the far left I know is condos, the one on the right probably will be too.

    I hate DCs culture of greed from making money from properties that destroys the original beauty of the properties for crap like this.

    I wish every neighborhood in DC were historic. Yeah it can be annoying at times, but it prevents this ugliness from happening.

  • I think the two pop-ups pictured above are examples of pop-ups well done. Obviously they dont look like the row house next door, but they do work within themselves (which is more than I can say for a few of these pop-ups posted on here).

    Basically, I look at it like this: is my walking by and admiring the house line on occasion more important than the homeowners wish to do as s/he pleases with his/her own property? I usually come to the conclusion that no, my passing interest is not more important than that homeowner’s more permanent interest. There is a tipping point to my tolerance, but I don’t think we’ve come anywhere close here.

    Personally, I like walking down streets and seeing something different behind every house number – it’s like getting to see some history lesson of the neighborhood, or watching an evolution of sorts (like the telescope houses of the colonial period). It adds to the uniqueness of our town for me.

  • i wish someone would run for council on the “no popups” platform. he/she would get my vote even if he/she was a practicing satanist animal torturer with a lengthy record of felony embezzlement.

  • Anon at 4:300 2 floor is necessary if it is going to be a condo conversion I would think. And considering that condo conversions like this are the only way for these flippers/investers to make money in real estate right now. Of course I hate these types of conversions anyway – so generally I hate these types of pop-ups.

    I don’t think these are as bad as some except for the fact of the normal townhouse in the middle. The one one on the far right needs to be painted though because the brick is different enough in the two different sections that it is quite obvious this is a pop-up.

  • The real gripe here is from the property owner in the middle. Given what those two pop-ups did to the rooflines and the way water now flows off the roof, anything less than a really good flashing job may mean problems for the dude in the middle.

    But I think these two are examples of decently conceived pop-ups. I actually looked at the one on the left when the condos first went on sale, and they did a nice job up there and created an interesting space that wouldn’t have been possible sans pop. I used to agree with the notion of creating a historical district in CH, but now that I’ve heard enough stories about what a pain in the rear it can be for property owners in Mt. P, I’m not so sure.

    And generally, I really would caution against encouraging and/or establishing a pattern of protesting pop-ups on an ad hoc basis. If you want to advocate changing the zoning laws wholesale, that’s fine. I generally think the era of cheap pop & flips is done, but deterring the sort of shoddy workmanship and aesthetic destruction that comes with it is an admirable goal from where I sit. But protesting individual applications … well, those are chickens that eventually are going to come home to roost.

  • They’re both fugly. But I bet the interiors and xtra FAR turn on the owners.

  • The giant electrical meter box on the one on the right is far more offensive to me than the pop up. At least with the popup you can try and make it look in character – but that thing on the front will always look like an ugly electric meter box.

  • For anyone interested, the hearing about adding a story to 1314 Park road is scheduled for May 19, 2009 at 9:30 in suite 220-S one Judiciary Square 441 4th Street.

    The request is “for a variance from the number of stories limitation under section 400, to allow a fourth floor addition to an existing one-family row dwelling in the R-4 District”

  • I don’t particularly care for these pop-ups but the original, middle house (and the others on this block of Monroe like it) won’t win any beauty contests. Yes, the row houses in their original state are old and well-built but they are a dime a dozen in DC and are in no danger of going extinct. I say this as someone who lives in (and loves) a rowhouse that is of the same vintage and was built even plainer than the middle house here.

  • can’t stand the one on the left, for two reasons. First, the split-personality paint job. Second, the balcony over the middle. For this type of building the balcony should have been incorporated into a front entry portico over the door, rather than the middle window. Then there’s the pop-up addition that is painted differently, apparently in an attempt to remind everyone that it is newer construction (in case one could miss it, due to the lack of three windows on the front facade). Might be nice inside but it is horrible on the outside.

    The brick one is better, but you can see how problematic brick is when doing a pop-up because even in the small photo you can tell the newer brick isn’t quite the same. Here they did a much better job repeating the architectural elements of the original construction. The main irritation for me is the floor-to-ceiling height of the third level,which is way way off in relation to the rest of the house.

  • This photo was taken in some back alley, right? Surely these cannot be the front facades… To those who like these pop-ups: Congratulations! You have no sense of taste or proper design! You may need to have your opthamologists declare you legally blind. These comfortably-scaled homes now look like mismatched apartment dwellings; tenements, if you will.

  • C’mon, Johnny! Isn’t people liking different things what makes living great? Just because I disagree with people who don’t like them doesn’t mean I condemn them as being categorically homogenous, as you are condemning those of us who like them as having no sense of taste.

    In my opinion, architecture in DC is incredibly boring (not necessarily ugly, though). I don’t think I’d choose to design the pop-ups in the way that these have been done. The one on the right is just plain ugly, upon second look, and is clearly done with $$$ in mind. Lame. But I think the one on the left is OK. I dig the wee centered balcony.

  • I like the idea of pop-ups in some areas. It makes sense to try to increase the density of people living in or near public transportation. It means fewer cars and car trips plus a larger customer base for local businesses. I also think the exterior design for these types of buildings are affected by the NIMBY neighbors preventing the builders from doing nice work. They think they will punish the builder for daring to put in a pop-up when they end up punishing themselves because they have to live with the consequences.

  • Brookie – honestly, what is there to like about the buildings in the above photograph? What was once, most likely, a more harmonious street scene, with houses of a similar height, is now a discordant battle of ugliness. I guess I’m too persnickety when it comes to architecture, but this is, as I’ve said in the past, a big F-U to the neighbors.

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