House of the Day (Re-PoP, Reader Request)

We’ve looked at this classic house/building in Shaw before but a reader sent it in and my philosophy is that if someone sends it in then a lot of others probably haven’t seen/noticed this supercool building either. The funny thing is that I think I, also, walked past this building a dozen times before I looked up and realized the cool “Fine Family Groceries” sign was up top.

9 Comment

  • Keep you eyes up when going on architectural walks PoP…that’s where the exciting and interesting stuff can be found.

  • Thank you for the compliments. I’m the owner of the building. I used the “Painted Ladies” books as inspiration and had fun restoring the sign. I’ve been trying to get the canopies repaired since last year (many of the parts are already painted to match the sign) but get side tracked with other projects and inability to get a good carpenter to do the work.

    Again glad others enjoy the playfulness as much as I do.

  • Yay! I submitted this, not realizing that it had been featured before. LOVE IT! And i like that the owner saw this and responded, it makes it that much more great…
    I’ll miss seeing it while walking my dogs, as I’m moving away in a few weeks.

    Keep up the amazingness!

  • Just wondering if the owner of this building knows any background or history about this building? Was it really owned by a family with the last name Fine? There is a bakery in Eastern Market called Fine sweet shop, just wondering if there is any connection.

  • Is there anything that can be done with the first floor of this building? It appears to be vacant and would be a great little coffee shop perhaps. Any neighborhood action that could help make something great like this happen?

  • All the apartments are rented. I have great tenants who tend to stay for years at a time. I would love to see a coffee shop on the first floor but there are zoning issues and some neighbors who are absolutely dead set against ever allowing and use loke that. Too bad since it has been a “commercial” neighborhood use since it was built.

    The only history I have found is it was a grocery in the ’30s with offices on the upper floors. In the ’70s there was some kind of DC clinic on the upper floors. I think there was a fire sometime in the ’70s and then it was remodeled into the current apartment configuration with retail on the first floor. The last use on the first floor was a Chinese takeout that was closed sometime around ’95, prior to when I acquired the property. I would agree that a take out is not a good thing to have here, but a nice locally oriented gathering place would be nice.

    Thanks for the support.

  • The 1942 DC Boyd’s City Directory shows 1000 O Street NW as:

    1000 Shirley Leo A gro

    There are no apartments or residents listed.

    The alphabetical part of the directory lists Leo and Edna Shirley residing at 2320 N. Tuckahoe, Falls Church.

  • It seems to have been built prior to the need of building permits in Washington, which began in February of 1877.

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