Judging Buildings – 500 Block of Florida Ave, NW

“Dear PoP,

Any idea what’s going on with the storefront on the south side of the 500 block of Florida NW? Looks like a big renovation (really nice job w all the windows).”

The renovation is amazing. You can see what it looked like back in Sept. here. At the time we heard from a commenter that it may become, “a coffee shop and a restaurant, upstairs they are building two apartments.”

More info as it becomes available.

From Sept. 2010

28 Comment

  • +1 – I too noticed the great progress on this building.

    The woodwork/detail on the bay windows is awesome and from the exterior it seems they (improbably) managed to rehab the building in a “classic” style.

  • Beautiful. I can’t wait for something to come in there.

  • that’s some sweet fixup work. uh-oh, it might attract gentrification!

  • gentrification is damages communities and families; this building should really become a half-way house up, and a soup kitchen down wtih free food and lattes provided by the big bear cafe (mocha-lattes available as upgrade to be paid for with food stamps)

  • I walked by last week and noticed permit information posted that said the building was owned by Howard University and they were constructing apartments. Not sure if that means exclusively apartments or just upstairs.

  • i think that the upstairs is slated to be apartments and the downstairs was created as a shell to attract an eventual bar/pub

  • Nice to see the building redone, however, why they used absolutely no insulation and single pane windows is just so annoying. Would be horrible to have a restaurant in that space because all your clients will hate it, having to try to find a magic location between the creping cold or blasting heat. Why people do not understand this is beyond me.

  • i think if maybe i saw this building for the first time, i would think that it looks like its missing a roofline and some trim, the details seem to be lacking.

    but since i have passed this place hundreds and hundreds of times over many years, all i can think is how beautiful it looks.

    shame that the windows are inefficient, but they look cool.

    • It is, literally, missing its cornice. you can see where it was previously attached. would be phenomenal if that was replaced, but doesn’t seem likely at this point.

    • Windows are giant holes in the wall filled with glass. The difference between efficient windows and inefficient windows on comfort level, energy costs, and such are grossly over exaggerated. In fact, poorly installed energy efficient windows can be worse than well installed normal windows.

      • Wrong. You have obviously never been in a properly insulated place.

      • No, actually, you’re wrong. Energy efficient window is an oxymoron. Its just science. Even though EE windows cut energy waste by a huge percentage, windows are inherently wasteful. Like I said, having a properly installed, air-tight, window is more important than having any EE window.

        • My bills have stayed steady and even gone down despite a new housemate and the same usage as always…

          Not sure about yours but my Energy Efficient Windows are well on the way to paying for themselves.

        • Sorry I have been in houses where it is below zero F outside and you cannot feel a cold gradient going towards any window. Yes a well insulated wall will always be better but that fact does not invalidate the fact windows can be made well.

          • Well not feeling cold coming from an exterior wall when it is cold outside has to do with the proper insulation too. Better windows will obviously lead to heat loss, and in fact, EE windows aren’t dramatically more expensive, so they are worth it.

            The question relating to this property was the lack of EE windows. I have no idea what is upstairs, those could be EE for all I know. The ones down stairs have a good portion made of wood, air can pass through wood. If every pane is well sealed and the whole window is well installed, then they did they best they could do to have that look. I dont know if those windows come with double panes and gas. Certainly the necessity of having the wood there lowers the efficiency over plastic…

            Personally, I have all energy efficient windows.

      • sure, but if they are installed with the same skill, single panes of what look like 1/8″ float glass are not as efficient than double pane or energy efficient windows.
        if you can install a piece of glass properly, you can install an energy efficient window properly.

        but nonetheless, i think this place is looking good and i really hope someone will open a nice bar there.

  • Great improvement! Can’t wait to see what it gets filled with.

  • Man I hope they replace that cornice. To bad they are JUST out of the historic district so there’s not really anyone that can pressure them to restore it. But still – what an improvement indeed.

  • Wow, between this building and the former Horses Ass a block away that was rebuilt, you can almost have a new feature, best rehab.

  • It seems quite odd to see such attention to detail on some parts of this building, while other parts were overlooked entirely. Hopefully they’re not done.

  • I live near here and walk by this building regularly (usually on my way to Zenebech Injera . . .), and I am so pleased with how great it’s been looking! Please let the downstairs actually become a coffee shop and/or restaurant.

  • What the neighborhood needs is a Pimp Cup Emporium.

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