Re-Judging The Petworth Eyesore


I think it might be time to redesignate the home being renovated at Upshur and New Hampshire, formerly known as the Petworth Eyesore. While you can see it still has a ways to go, it seems the new owners are putting a ton of work into it. I definitely think removing the siding and putting up brick is a huge improvement. If they brick it up all the way around do you think we should remove the tag of eyesore from this property?

16 Comment

  • I can’t overstate how impressed I am with the work that’s been done there. It’s literally night and day. The guys are working hard and progress is such an exciting sight in this case.

    I bet in a few weeks, it will no longer be an eyesore.

  • My wife an I actually call it the New Hampshire Folly, rather than the Petworth Eyesore. I noticed several orange stop work notices on the door, seems the new owners run into code issues every now an then!

  • wow! thats in a state of newness, hope, being built, failure, despair,decay and falling apart, disrepair and crazy sense of aesthetics all at once! unbuilt ruins. its quite fantastic.

  • So far I’ve been impressed as well, but let’s see how they handle the roof-line and exterior details. While much improved, it could still turn out to be a huge blank brick blah, with little relationship to the existing neighborhood.

  • that should be preserved or something as a testament and shrine to the real estate boom of the start of the 21st century.

  • All this is great except last week three orange “stop work” signs were posted on the front door. That was when I noticed there were no permits hanging in the window.

    I have to admit, I was joyous when I saw this building was being worked on again–and an effort to fix the older low quality work.

    But then I noticed that they were making all kinds of odd choices–like only using a single course of brick on the four-story exterior walls. Then I noticed they were knocking down the old walls, yet leaving the interior studs and drywall intact, then building the new exterior walls up around the stud framed shell–a bit backwards??

    All this, plus the illegal fence, has made me suspicious that we may have gone from bad to worse: exchanging one Petworth Eyesore for a new improved Petworth Eyesore, complete with massive holes in the structure and huge piles of debris that won’t go anywhere–not to mention the attractive barbed wire!

  • Wow, I’m surprised at the number of cynics.

    I think it is looking great. Certainly much better than it was.

    They are quite obviously not using a single “course” of brick. A “course” is a horizontal row of brick, which may be arranged in any combination of headers and stretchers (short side or long side of brick) depending on the pattern desired. The term “wythe” refers to a vertical section of brick one unit thick. The number of wythes necessary depends on the function of the masonry. Multiple wythes may be needed for structural reasons but for cladding one wythe is often sufficient.

    A fence erected to protect a construction site is not illegal. It is illegal to put up a permanent fence, but a temporary one to keep trespassers away from the dangers lurking on a construction site is not.

    I don’t know what the stop work orders are about but under the DC Municipal Regulations, Title 12, Section 114 .5 they are supposed to be published either in a ‘newspaper of regular distribution or on the DCRA website’. I’ve never seen them in the paper or on the DCRA website, though. Perhaps someone else knows of where to find them.

    There are a lot of reasons for getting a stop work order though. Not having proof of all jobsite workers’ completion of safety and training courses, for example. Or even just not being available to answer the inspector’s questions.

  • It does look better and I am glad they are doing the work but it still looks like a prison to me due to the lack of windows.

  • just slapping brick on a box doesn’t make a nice building. there’s a reason god made architects.

  • It reminds me of the school that is being slowly demolished at Irving and Georgia.

  • God makes architects? Boy those architecture schools have quite the racket going then…

  • The windows are still completely out of scale with the building, and the brick will just create a giant bland structure. The building should be imploded and rebuilt from scratch by someone who knows what they are doing.

  • Looks like as of Wednesday, 26 Aug, they are back to work. GO, GO, GO, GO, GO…..

  • “Course”/ “Wythe”–makes no difference in this case. It’s just hard to believe that a single, unsupported “stack” of bricks, four stories tall, will be enough to support itself.

    Regardless, as of this morning the “Stop Work” stickers have all been scrapped off and the workers are back. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

  • has one of the three little pigs taken up residence? nice job…no BBW will blow that down!

  • It is and forever will be an eye sore. The original home that was there, though delapidated as it was, its architecture was true to its period and the other surrounding homes in the community. Ever since I was a little girl I my grandmother and I would catch the bus in front of that old house, I loved it.

    Now it is going to be what a 10 unit apartment/condo (yes I am exaggerating). No problems with modernizing the neighborhood but damn. We do we realize we are saturating the area.

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