“Dear PoP – What the Helen of Troy is This?”

“Dear PoP,

This is construction site at NOMA West, Eckington place. Do you or your readers know what is going on. What is the structure?”

I once asked the same exact question (which of course I can’t find) on a new construction. I’m 99% sure that this will be the elevator shaft? Can anyone confirm?

28 Comment

  • Elevator shaft sounds about right. Maybe for a garage?

  • Elevator shaft on the left, stairwell on the right.

  • I think you’re right, PoP . . . elevator shaft and perhaps stairwell . . . which fire/building codes require to be made of fireproof material (e.g., concrete block) in large buildings. We’ll likely see a traditionally-framed building spring up around these concrete block structures in the coming weeks/months.

  • is it more projects or yuppie condos?

    • I think it’s a combination thereof.

      And should turn out to be an interesting social experiment. I only wish they made a reality show about it.

      • No, its 100% market rate. I suppose the trolls would call that “yuppie condos”.. you know… yuppie, someone with a job who can afford the rent the rest of us with jobs have to pay.

        • I know you’re joking, but having a job rarely means being able to afford rent.


        • Yay!

          I get that we need workforce housing somewhere. I don’t get why it has to be in the middle of one of the most expensive neighborhoods in one of the most expensive cities in the country.

          • Where else would you put it? We happen to have low-wage jobs in this most expensive city — even in the most expensive neighborhoods. And commuting costs quickly begin to outweigh savings on housing as you move further out. Plus — car ownership is expensive!

        • Ummmm, I have two jobs and can’t afford the rent some of you pay. POP posts a basement apt for rent in CH for $1700 a month and everyone is “Great deal!” or “That’s cheap for that area!” The real people of DC can’t afford rent like that. When the RI Ave development is finished, I would love to think that I would be able to rent an apt there, but the reality is, a 400sq foot studio will be $2000 and you people will be touting how much of a steal it is.

          • So, apparently someone that can afford an expensive apartment isn’t considered part of the “real people of DC.”

            When I search craigslist, I see plenty of one bedroom apartments on the other side of the river and in NE – both of which have plenty of bus and metro options.

          • $2000 for a 400sq ft studio? Sounds about right for 29th and Lexington in Manhattan

          • @Veronika

            The studios by the Noma Harris Teeter and $1900, so why would $2000 be a stretch for the RI Ave Development?

  • There’s a similar structure at H and 2nd NW that’s in the same lot as the Mayer Mitchell Building which has been there for at least several years. Do you think this is an elevator shaft/stairwell that never got put to use?

  • The elevator shaft is the first structure usually in buildings that aren’t made with concrete or steel girders as a frame. This usually results in projects where building does not get past the first stages due to permits or foreclosure. Rules and regulations create the need for concrete enclosures on these types of buildings for fire safety and to protect the building support by isolating elevators and stairways from the other parts of the building structure. Rather than knocking the structures down, often because the property is in dispute, they may be enclosed or remain there like this.

    • “The elevator shaft is the first structure usually in buildings that aren’t made with concrete or steel girders as a frame. This usually results in projects where building does not get past the first stages due to permits or foreclosure.”

      Sounds like bullshit to me!

      • I can see how you’d think that, solely based on your mis-interpreted contextual citation.

        It would be impossible to guarantee foreclosure based on building materials used.

  • I grew up in Miami and there was a structure like the one on the left located on the property of one of the fire stations. It had a different kind of door at each level. So in the interest of adding a different (although far less likely) alternative, I’d venture a guess that it could be a fire department training facility.

    • Guess again…… Webster Res gave the answer. I work next door and have watched them building these apartments for some time.

  • Elevator and stairs. If construction is under 5 or 6 stories, this is the efficient way to do it. Your masonry crew works once instead of along with every floor.

  • It’s the Elevator Shaft and Fire-rated Egress stairs of the Building Core. The core for small to large high-rise buildings is almost always built first with the core, then the floor plates and lastly the shell or skin done later.

    Of course once the skin goes on there’s still likely much work to be done inside, but that’s the general order or things.

  • andy

    Isn’t that right near the hominid watering hole?

  • NoMa West – really? Is that the name of the development (bd enough) or are we now supposed to call the neighborhood that? NoMa is bad enough without giving it little spin-offs.

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