Judging Buildings – 14th and Florida (Updated)


Quite a difference from what it looked like in March. I really like how it sorta sticks out into the street. I also like the angles. I’m still not a big fan of the tan brick though. Looking good to ya?


20 Comment

  • the views must be amazing looking down 14th. hence the name i suppose. cant wait to take a tour of the penthouse.

  • it is going up rather quickly, espeically compared to the ugly Solea building across the street that took forever to finish. it’s a nice building but looks an awful like the PN Hoffman building two blocks south on 14th. I think the new buildings are all starting to run together in my mind.

    this started out as condos but I believe they are slated to be apartments now. hope they come with parking otherwise the rest of the neighborhood is doomed.

  • This is an attractive building — the architects skillfully varied the long facade fronting 14th Street. This was a technique also used successfully a few blocks south on the Union Row building — which, contrary to 4:21’s comment, is hardly a look-alike — but is too often ignored in DC. (Examples of commercial and government buildings downtown with long, monotonous facades abound.) On the other hand, the Solea building across the street is truly awful.

  • I would love to hear from someone who actually lives in one of these buildings with the floor to ceiling windows – how do you deal with privacy – especially at night? Full length curtains really defeat the purpose since you loose all your views. Bottom-up shade systems would seem the best, but they are very expensive. Do the developers offer any kind of window treatments? And how does that affect the ultimate look of the building? We always see the renderings, or the first pristine un-occupied photos, but even the swankiest showroom perfect people have some detritus – do passers-by just look in at it all?

    I’ve walked by some of these buildings now that they are beginning to be occupied, and honestly, it’s kind of weird to see everyone’s stuff all over. How does it work living there in real life – from scrambling eggs in your underwear to spontaneous mad passion on the shag rug?

  • someone is complaining about the design quality of buildings like this and Union Row? Seriously? *sigh*

  • bottom up shades are expensive? you are talking condos that cost a million dollars! *sigh*

  • Any word on potential retail?

  • These look beautiful, must get amazing light and have fantastic views. No cookie-cutter building here!

  • Years ago I read about some 50s modern building in New York City – okay, I just Googled it, and it’s the Seagram Building from 1958. Because people moving in were putting up their own shades, architect Mies van der Rohe quickly insisted on 1 type of shade for each apartment; there were 3 positions for the shade: open, closed, or halfway open (these would be raised or lowered, not venetian slats that are turned).
    Victoriam, I think the way you do: when I go into a model house or condo, with huge expanses of glass that look into a neighboring house or building, my first thought is how expensive it will be just to have some privacy. Just because someone is living in a million dollar condo doesn’t mean they can actually afford it. I’ve been in so many million + dollar homes over the years with barely a picture on the wall or furniture to sit on. Doesn’t make much sense to buy a house you can’t afford to furnish!

  • I’ve wondered the same thing, Victoriam. And I think JohnnyReb is right; *hopefully* someone buying an expensive condo is flush with cash, but during the housing bubble when everyone thought housing whould only appreciate, a lot of people stretched to buy and didn’t even have money left over to furnish their new place … I heard a lot of stories like this also, although it was usually families who wanted to get into a good school district which isn’t really the same as someone buying a condo in the city.

  • And following up on the open windows issue, if they are rentals the tenants would definitely not want to invest in an expensive solution. Seems like it would be good for the building to provide something.

  • first glance it reminded me of my elementary school from several decades back. Its the windows shapes and setting, and brick. looks like a public school from the 1950’s or 60s. Maybe I am not picturing it in my head but what exactly is there to see down florida ave? Did the monuments move or am I misdirected. I dont know squat about architecture, good or bad. Its like pron, I know it when i see it. Well make nice apratments though im sure.

  • I agree on the brick. The PN Hoffman beige is starting to wear on me. A traditional red in a slightly weathered finsih would have been a interesting contrast to the steel (although slightly more expensive). I do love the slant over 14th. I’d love that top floor unit. Also it and the building across the street have created an interesting effect going up the hill. Canyon-like and that is not a put down.

    As far as shades go often developers do wet some standards or provide them with the unit. Typical is Mecho-shade. It is a cross-hatch pattern that can let in varied levels of light (or privacy) depending upon the density of the hatching. They can be manually operated or set on a remote control. If you are getting the million dollar, bad ass view penthouse – go with the remote. It will impress the ladies.

  • Oh dear – I would hope anyone able to afford a place like this could do better than ladies impressed by remote control window shades!

  • The building is designed to steal ground level views on 14th Street and has a horrible impact on the streetscape. As well this is a city subsidized building.

  • As someone with floor to ceiling windows that open like these, the problem isn’t privacy but heating/cooling costs. Blinds are a one time expense (or maybe once every 10 yrs). But the extra $50-100/month seeping out the cracks really adds up over time.

  • I heard that these were supposed to be offices? I also want to tour the Solea to see if they are as bad inside as they are outside. That waved metal facade is awful.

  • These were originally going to be condos, but will be rental upon completion due to the economy (so sayeth the people at the Cityscape next door…). And the Solea’s got some build quality issues–kind of what you’d expect from the outside, really. Anyone know what’s going to happen with the lot across 14th where the strip mall used to be?

  • Ahoy !

    Hold the self inflicted tear down JMW and LJ.

    Let’s take it easy with Solea Condominiums and all the wonderful and generous advertisers that make this medium possible for all us and our Prince.

    Tantum Eruditi Sunt Liberi

  • I agree that this building looks great, although the color choices are off. Either blonde brick with black window systems or red brick with the putty/gray. Who was asking about the views down 14th? Seriously? You can see the Wilson Bridge from the top floor corner unit at Solea, which I’ve toured.

    And speaking of Solea, I think it’s a love/hate building. DC is just so conservative with its architecture. That’s why everything looks the same. But this small section of the city is starting to embrace more modern, Scandinavian designs. There are a lot of smaller projects scattered around Florida Ave/11th that are pushing the envelope. The Lacey is one example. Solea is just the most visible.

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