21 Comment

  • I don’t know anything about it, but I bet it doesn’t have an elevator, and it must’ve been brutal living on the top floor back in the day.

    • Actually, looking at the west elevation on Google Street View, it looks like an elevator was indeed added at some point.

  • Granted, this is partially boarded up… but does it really qualify as a horse’s ass?

    I guess horse’s-assness is in the eye of the holder, but I thought such buildings usually had to be in a pretty bad state of disrepair and/or ugly?

    I agree that it has a lot of potential.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Yeah sometimes it’s a tough call but since the whole first floor is boarded up here, this one jumped out at me.

  • It’s been there like that for a long time. And a 4th floor walk up is hardly brutal. I did it for years and my 75 year old cousin does a 6th floor walk up in NYC – says taking her dog up and down keeps her in good shape.

  • Odd that you’re asking how long it’s been in this condition. I thought that to qualify for the Horse’s Ass Award a property had to be neglected and in disrepair for a lengthy period of time. If you don’t know the story behind the property, you’re putting the cart before the Horse’s Ass.

  • Their website: http://3rdandg.com/

    The website is unclear on whether they’re trying to built it out themselves and are marketing it to tenants, or if they’re trying to sell the building to a developer, though.

  • PoP is right. This has been in disrepair for a long time. Thankfully, there should be an end in sight within a few years. It was slated to be part of a development called “The Canterbury” by Douglas Development, but I think there may be some new ownership in involved and rumors of turning it into a high-end hotel (extended stay?) instead.


  • It’s across the street from the DC field office for the FBI. Do those horses’ asses have something to do with it not being developed?

    You can’t park anywhere on the perimeter of their building unless you are an FBI agent (and even though the building has its own underground garage). Heaven forbid a resident of DC get to park in their own city….

    • There’s a huge section of back-in Zone 6 permit parking across the street. I don’t think that’s the biggest concern here.

      • That’s not the point I was trying to make.

        Federal law enforcement regularly rides roughshod over the rights and concerns of DC residents (as does DCPD, but that’s another issue). It doesn’t matter if there’s a 20-story free parking garage right next door. Why should FBI get to reserve an entire block of street parking for itself 24/7 when it already has an indoor garage – no? Do private tenants in other downtown neighborhoods get to take over parking on the streets- no. Should the public have equal access to parking on the streets – hell yes.

        It wouldn’t surprise me if FBI has also asserted itself and is telling the developer what it can and can’t do with this building. The management of that agency is paranoid about spies, snipers, bombers, etc.

        Secret Service has pulled similar crap around its headquarters. It forced the city to keep the Webster School (10th and H) vacant until it got the money to buy the building, and it basically chased away the small bank/credit union next door (10th and G). Now the school building is about to collapse on itself. That building should be another Horse’s Ass award winner.

        • Thanks for the history on the Webster School. I always wondered why that nice building wasn’t taken over by a developer and made into offices or something. Too bad they are letting it crumble.

          And you’re right about the parking rights for the FBI on public streets. They regularly park their oversized bomb defusing equipment in the area and take up a whole block’s worth of space.

          I’m actually surprised that the federal government has not been more aggressive in purchasing buildings in what they deem “sensitive areas”. Throw some eminent domain clause out there and pay the owner triple market value to keep them quiet.

          • Yeah, the Webster School situation is a total shame. It’s literally collapsing inside out. Parts of the upper floors have pancaked onto lower levels and fallen into the basement, which is why there’s now a construction/safety walkway surrounding the building. Eventually it’s going to collapse, which is what the Secret Service appears to be counting on.

        • Interesting.

          I found this article on the Webster School building when googling for information and photos:

          GSA has a description of its history, but (as far as I can tell) only one tiny photo:

  • I remember seeing this a few years ago and thought it would make a great hostel…

  • 705 4th St NW is directly adjacent to the left of this property. It appears to be a relatively shabby apartment complex. It recently sold for $4 million. I wonder who bought it, and what they plan on doing with it?

    From a sales listing:

    Located at 705 4th Street, NW, Washington, DC, the property consists of 41 total apartment units, comprised of 28 studios and 13 one-bedroom, one bathroom apartment flats. The property sits on a 7,125 square foot lot and is located in the Judiciary Square neighborhood, only one block from Judiciary Square Metro.

  • Someone should put a sign in front of it thanking the owner, in this case, Jemal for fostering blight in the city. Why not try some public shaming?

  • It’s my understanding that this is the first apartment building in D.C. It’s looked like this or some variation of it for at least the 6 years I’ve lived nearby. Here’s a little more information: http://lifein.mvsna.org/index.cfm/2011/6/2/ANC-6C-PZ-Notes-June-2011

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