Judging Buildings – 1000 Block Kenyon St, NW

We’ve been monitoring the progress of this building on the 1000 block of Kenyon St, NW for many months. I’ve always asked if you think it fits in with the block. I think we may have that answer now. I respect the amount of work that went into to this building but I’m not so sure it is meshing with the block. I know that can be a good thing sometimes but I’m not sure it is this time. What do you guys think – thumbs up or down?

34 Comment

  • Silly. Why is the house next door boarded up? Was it damaged by the construction?

    • I nominate this one for the dumbest comment on PoP ever. Was the whole house next door, in the 1000 block of Kenyon Street, boarded up because it was damaged by construction? Are you seriously asking this, or are you just being a snarky a$$hole?

  • I’ve seen a lot of that style of pop-up in Chicago. I don’t think it meshes well with DC’s traditional row houses – thumbs down.

  • It’s not too high, it’s set back too far.

  • Thumbs down. I looks like a new house trying to be an old house. It’s a Poser.

  • Nice building, wrong block.

  • What is the alternative? For a new house trying to be a new house and looking totally out of place? I’ll take the new one over the boarded up one next door.

    I imagine it’s set back to allow for exiting from the basement. Looks a little funky, but it’s not all that offensive.

    They could’ve not gone with the brick patterning and it would’ve looked a little more traditional, but the only real gripe I feel is legit is that it is a little tall, which gives it an ostentatious feel.

  • i think its just fine. not amazing. not horrible. if this was across the street from me, i wouldn’t mind it.

  • It’s crap!

  • Agreed that it doesn’t really blend, but I can’t fault the developer here for building as much as he could, particularly if the rest of the block is characterized by the ugly two-level rowhomes shown on either side of this. It looks like the newly built lot is actually narrower than those surrounding it, so a better blend would have been difficult. Plus, the new building is both more attractive and, presuming it’s a multi-unit bldg., increases population density, which is something that should happen in the city.

  • I think it’s great. The progress on this block and in a 2-3 block radius over the past couple of years is amazing. I’m thinking it’s only a matter of time before the boarded up house comes down and a new one comes up in its place, and the new one will likely be more in line with the one featured above.

  • Kev29 is exactly right. That was my first thought – this is a new Chicago condo building transplanted to DC. These ugly (and often poorly constructed) buildings have mushroomed all over the North Side of Chicago, replacing beautiful old two and three-flats because they can get more money by having a fourth story.

    This building actually looks exactly like a building on my old street in Chicago. I didn’t like that one, either.

    • I thought the exact same thing…this looks exactly like a Chicago developer special 4-flat…as an architect in Chicago from 03-05 I remember quite a bit of contraversy over their size and appropriateness there too. Another thing that makes it look more Chicago than DC is the brick. It is a cheap, typical chicago brick color and pattern. Row houses in DC are more typically painted.

  • It’s quite attractive and looks better than the sleazy looking rowhouses on either side.

    • agreed. people complaining about a new building going in when the places next door are silly. People will live there and it will help the block out. Too bad if it doesn’t fit in with one’s idea of “character.” I would take this over the boarded up house anyday.

      • I would actually prefer to live in the lower-slung single-family home next door, and I would be glad to renovate it. I think the new brick building is a multi-unit dwelling. Each unit is probably small, which is great for many people. Given the choice, I’d take the SFD.

    • I agree. I hope this building encourages the neighbors along this side of the block to clean up their yards and take a little pride in their homes.

      The opposite side (north side of the street)is dramatically different. Two years ago one of the rowhouses experienced a fire which caused significant smoke damage to the exterior of the homes as far as 4 or 5 house down the block. It resulted in these homes getting repainted; they cleaned up their front yards and now look beautiful.

  • Why didn’t they abut the next door houses?

    I don’t think DCRA should allow them to be set back and with that much of a gap between houses.

  • If they had stuck it between 13th street and 11th street it would be fine but not on this block. It’s nice looking though.

  • part of the problem is that the neighboring houses are not that attractice.

  • the reason the house on the right is boarded up is from a fire, it was cover on POP like a month back.

    I walk by this house everyday. it is very out of place for the block. also it replaced a similar house to the one on the right. i wish developers would fill in vacant lots instead of tearing down old row houses.

    obviously the developer wanted to squeeze every penny out of this lot. 4 condos * $400K = $1.6 million. wow thats a price profit.

  • I would say thumbs down for now, but maybe as the rest of the block changes it will look more at home.

    In other news – I had no idea that there was a fire at the boarded up house, but all I can say is karma’s a bitch. I was their neighbor to the right for a year and they were terrible people – loud and rude, and once keyed my car (which wasn’t anything pretty to begin with) for taking “their” parking space on the street. I feel like a bad person rejoicing at any misfortune, but this is one of those moments were I feel the universe makes sense.

  • Thumbs up: it doesn’t fit into the rest of the block in the same way that an Olympic athlete doesn’t fit in with a high school PE class: the house is an example to be emulated.

    The only problem is that it’s set too far back.

  • Up Up UP. Tear down the rest of the block and make it look like that!

  • I live within a block of that house and walk by it daily. I think it looks fine, but as a bunch of other people have mentioned, I don’t get why it’s set back so far. It just looks weird. Maybe they can do something with balconies or a porch or something to try to make it look sensible, but honestly I don’t understand why they didn’t use all that extra space to build more house. wtf, developer?

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