Judging Pop Ups (?)


I think it’s interesting to look at some of the historical pop ups (?) when we judge modern pop ups. I think this row looks super cool. Would the home in the middle be considered a pop up? What do you think of the look of this row? Dang, I can’t remember what street this is but I think it’s in Shaw or Bloomingdale – anyone recognize it?

13 Comment

  • I actually really like it. As there’s so little hegemony on that block anyway, it actually works really well. And I love the coloring.

  • How could you not like that? It should be the template for Victorian pop ups…

  • I don’t think that’s a pop-up. There are architectural difference on the first two floors of each of those three buildings to suggest that they were not developed as a row. The middle, three-story home could have been built separately. You see this pretty often in shaw where blocks were developed progressively as townhomes, not at-once like rowhomes.

  • R St. The blue house was on Curb Appeal and has the labyrinth brick front patio.

  • Yep, it’s on R St. NW between New Jersey Ave. and 4th St. I live around the corner from here and really like the labyrinth patio.

  • Shame on the dwarf houses on either side for not being as tall as the one in the middle.

  • If that wasn’t built like that to begin with, they did a hell of a job.

  • That’s not a pop-up.

  • It was originally built as a 3-story house so it’s not a pop-up. A pop-up would be a 2-story house that at some later date has a third story added to it. The third story is original, that’s why it looks so normal.

  • i wish pop-ups were that nice. There should be a law against them

  • Not a pop-up. It’s looked like this since the day it was completed; paint, of course, has changed. You need to study up on your historic DC architecture!

  • That’s exactly how it should be done, if indeed it’s a pop-up.

    Besides architectural aesthetics, the main reason why pop-ups are not kindly looked upon is because they alter the linear roof line of set of row houses. But many owners and developers who want a pop-up get around this by setting the addition back from the roof line. Nonetheless the pop-up is usually very visible and tends to be in a different architectural style from the house.

    Pop-ups will not be going away anytime soon; they increase living space and add substantial value to property. But wouldn’t it be better to tastefully raise the roof line of the original house (as above) instead of constructing the mix-and-mash pop-up of today. The linear roof line of the row would be changed, of course, but this is happening anyway to a degree with a set-back pop-up. Moreover, because DC property is so valuable, other houses in the row will probably sprout pop-ups too. Eventually, with pop-up on every house another even roof line will be created, but just one level higher than before. Isn’t this the better way?

  • ^^^

    For example, if a pop-up were to be built for the red house in the picture, wouldn’t it be better for it’s original roof line to be raised to match that of the blue house? There would some extra cost to do this, to be sure, but overall it may well be worth it in terms of it being a more distinguished, larger-looking tri-level house. Contrast that to the pictured two-story with a future non-conforming architectural pop-up.

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