House(s) of the Day

IMG_2276, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I thought these were two cool looking pop ups from the Capitol Hill area. Not sure if they’re original construction or additions. Which do you like better?


7 Comment

  • I like the top, but the bottom seems more likely to be original or added many many years ago. Also the bottom doesn’t have a similar base as it’s neighbors.

  • the second one has some real odd charm. like roald dahl or tim burton kind of charm.

  • The top is definitely a pop-up – it’s cornice is identical to its neighbors. Still, pretty good looking for a pop-up!
    I think the bottom rowhouse is original. It was not built at the same time as its neighbors – I would love to see what it would look like without painted brick.

  • The top one looks like stone-washed denim. Just an observation – still a cool house.

  • Top could be original but not likely. Bottom probably original. Either way, both pop-ups are historic and contemporary with the original construction. Red clay roof tiles, gray slates, proportions, other detailing are all beyond the eye of today’s designers and skills of today’s builders.

  • why is that? i’ve always believed that today’s builders can’t do the awesome details from back in the day. but why not?

    Is it cost? Is it skillz?

  • Used to be labor was cheap, materials were expensive, and building systems were almost non-existent. Now it’s labor is expensive, materials are cheap, and building systems eat up a huge amount of budget. Modern building materials are cheaper and labor-saving out of necessity.

    Modern construction is mostly take it out of the box, follow the instructions and install. Yesteryear building materials weren’t as specific. Maybe you got some runs of millwork done in the shop, but for the most part you got a pile of parts and had to build something from scratch. For example, windows today are shipped complete with glazed sashes already installed in a frame. Uncrate it, line up the flanges, nail, flash, seal, done. Yesteryear you got all the frames, moldings, sills, sashes separate and you built the window on site. You even had to put the glass in yourself (well it was an option).

    Most construction today is mindless. Open box; install. Heaven help you if it doesn’t fit right out of the box. Moving forward, more and more building parts will be manufactured in a factory rather than crafted on site.

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