Judging New Buildings – Widow’s Mite Lofts

This building just went up on the corner of Phelps and California St, NW. It also may have one of the more unusual names I’ve ever heard – Widow’s Mite Lofts. Their Web site says:

The Widow’s Mite Lofts are located in the Sheridan-Kalorama neighborhood in northwest Washington. Now a peaceful enclave in the middle of metropolitan DC, the Kalorama area was primarily rural until the end of the 19th century. In 1795, Gustavus Scott, a city commissioner, purchased a portion of Anthony Holmead’s “Widow’s Mite” holdings and began development in the area. In 1807, a poet named Joel Barlow bought a property at 23rd and S Streets and renamed it “Kalorama”, after the Greek “fine view”. The Sheridan-Kalorama neighborhood began to take shape around this property in the early 1880s as the area was subdivided for urban development and has become a popular choice among diplomats and senior government officials. In 1893 Congress ordered L’Enfant’s famous design for the city of Washington extended out to the rest of the District, but existing developments were exempted, which is why Kalorama is one of the few sections of DC that doesn’t follow the city’s grid system.

So what do you think of the building itself?

17 Comment

  • love it!!! especially since they reused the existing building which was cute too. developers take notice, this is how u should be building in dc!!!!!!!

  • very tasteful exterior! pleasantly renaissance!

  • I WANT.

    Look at those giant windows.

  • Anyone want to guess what one of the two bedrooms will go for? $3k?

  • I dunno yet, mate. I need to see her up close before I can let you know.

  • The name implying it will cost everything you have down to your last two cents to live there?

  • I really hope they put a restaurant, cafe, or bar in that retails space. Kalorama really needs a place to get something to eat. They could make a killing, what with the amount of residents, embassies, and schools around there.

  • I think it’s an unfortunate name. Have you ever stayed at a place that was infested with widow’s mites? I was itching for days!

  • Widow’s Mite is the historic name of the area.


    With most of then-Washington City contained within L’Enfant’s original plan, the Kalorama area was primarily rural until the close of the 19th century. In 1795, Gustavus Scott, a commissioner for the District of Columbia purchased the property, which had been a portion of Anthony Holmead’s “Widows Mite” holdings. He constructed a large, classically styled house at 23rd and S Streets, which he named Belair. In 1807, the noted poet Joel Barlow bought the property and renamed it “Kalorama”, which translates from Greek as “fine view”.

  • This is a historic district. Witness the benefits of design review by the Historic Board.

  • kiki

    Word is the “retail space” will welcome back the convenience store that was there before they decided to redo the building. It used to just be one floor.

    And it’s right across the street from Balance Gym. You know I had to throw that in there.

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