Saving Houses in Mt. Vernon Square

Dear PoPville,

I’ve always been fascinated with the science and precision behind moving houses. Sending you a few pics of the triangle between New York Ave and K Street, NW. This small building is off its foundation and ready to go.

The old Victorian house (photo below) is stabilized for the move, but hasn’t gone anywhere yet. It’s my understanding that all of these historic structures will be aligned next to one another somewhere on the block to make room for the new Medical School Association building. Is this correct?

For those not familiar with the project, WBJ reported:

“The Association of American Medical Colleges has selected Douglas Development Corp.’s site overlooking Mount Vernon Square for its new headquarters. It plans to occupy the property by the fourth quarter of 2013.”

No doubt this is gonna be another amazing transformation. Glad to see they are saving these great old houses too. We’ll revisit as construction progresses.

13 Comment

  • I like that they are saving this row home, it makes up for the row home that was allowed to fall apart on 9th and C st over by Easter Market. It constantly amazes how people let old houses fall apart. I love the old architecture and character of these Victorian/federal row homes. I understand the need for smart growth and density but come on. Just looked at The Ruined Capitol Blog and you’ll see some of the housing we’ve lost.

      • That picture on the home page deeply saddens me. How nice that there is now a nondescript office building with a CVS there now.
        Oh, the 50s 60s and 70s…what a horrible time period to be a beautiful old building, and a what a shameful legacy of “knock it down” idealogy. *sigh*

    • People let homes fall apart because either they don’t have the money to keep them repaired or the owner is a slumlord who has no interest in putting money into the place. Either way, it is about money.

    • jch: Make sure you ‘trust but verify’ with that website. There have been numerous examples where he’s just been wrong about where places were located, or even if they’re actually gone. He does all his research via google maps, doesn’t go to the site to verify his assertions. It’s kind of sloppy.

  • As I told PoP in a private email, I watched them take out the original stained glass windows in this tall victorian row home, then fill it in with cinder blocks to stabilize it for the move. I wouldn’t expect to see the stained glass going back in…it’s sitting in a warehouse somewhere right now (discovered after talking to the owner).
    Will be quite the engineering feat is this beauty makes her move withough losing a brick!

  • they just knocked down a couple other row houses on that block… just as old… sure they were long-abandoned, but why weren’t they protected by preservation or something? I like the big buildings here that are built around/over top a row house or two… too bad…

  • It is awesome that they are not only preserving these old houses but also moving them to do so. Above and beyond…

  • For the OP and anyone else interested in moving entire houses, I highly recommend watching the movie “Moving Midway.” (it’s a completely different context – moving a Southern plantation house – but very interesting)

  • Hines, who is also developing City Center DC, is doing the development and construction for AAMC.

  • As one other reader noted above, don’t be so quick to thank the city and Douglas for saving this Victorian. There were a bunch of other equally beautiful homes on that block. I watched every morning as workers appeared to be stabilizing them for an eventual move, and then in late February, to my horror, I watched as the wrecking ball destroyed them and for some unknown reason only this one Victorian made it through along with two or three disgusting looking garages. It is a travesty that the city allowed those other houses to be demolished. We should know better by now!!!

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