Judging Pop Ups – 5th and Florida Ave, NW

I’m digging this pop up (I think it’s a pop up) on 5th St, NW just off Florida Ave.

I haven’t seen windows off the side like this before:

What do you think – thumbs up or down?

19 Comment

  • I’m not sure that I think it’s a pop-up because there is brick and the front-facing part of the 3rd level looks pretty old/worn. I do, however, think the windows are new and so they may have re-done that top portion. If it is a pop-up, then good job for blending with the house and making it hard for me to tell. As for the windows, do I like them? I usually love those type of windows (leaded windows), which I think are gorgeous. But I think it’s context dependent for me and I’m not a huge fan of them here. Those leaded windows look stunning in an old loft space with high ceilings, upwards of 12 or more feet. Possibly could work with ceiling heights of 10 feet but you get the idea. Here, not working so much. It’s not a total eyesore but not done with the finesse to be of my liking.

    • I concur with this being original, but the windows being new. Check out the area around the side windows in the close-up. You can see that the old paint was removed *immediately* around the windows to allow their placement, and nowhere else along the side. Now, I do think it’s ingenious since it’s almost invisible and who DOESN’T need more light in a row house!

      • It’s new. The front facade is original, but the structure behind it is new construction.

  • Really cool…but what happens if the house next door decides to do a pop-up? the glass will literally abut a brick wall.

    • That is, unless the house next door does a similar pop-up with glass. #peepingTom

      • That’s what I’m not understanding here. You can’t build two structures with windows that are right up against one another. So I’m wondering what the legality of this would be if the next door house went ahead and built a pop up. They definitely couldn’t use glass…but if they built brick and it was right up against the glass, I *think* the exciting pop up would need to cover over their glass with brick. This would be a pretty wacky air rights situation…anyone know what would happen here?

        • it looks cool. it works. who cares what historic preservation says or whether dcra got paid their cut? we need more capable and well-intentioned home owners taking up beautiful construction like this and not being paralyzed by the endless series of variances, approvals, reviews and inspections required for a project like this.

          • @get real: no need to be so harsh. Rock wasn’t being critical as much as curious as to the practicality of the situation. What would happen if the neighboring building put up a pop-up of their own, which would be inches away from the all-window-wall of this pop-up? Did the owner of the white house buy the air rights over the red one? They’re legitimate questions.

  • The windows of the white bulding are stepped back slightly – notice that the chimney juts forward a bit. This provides separation of the new windows from the building line. (There also seems to be an additional small separation between the white and red buildings at that level, shown in the third photo, but it’s not clear.) So the red bulding could conceivably do a pop-up which would block the white building windows, but would not touch them. (And the red bulding pop-up could also be all windows, if they chose.) However, it is possible that the white building has bought the air rights of the red building. In any case, I certainly wouldn’t want to buy the white building without understanding the circumstances very clearly.

    Otherwise, I would be interested in seeing interior photos of the white building – the windows imply they’re going for a loft sort of look, which might make for an interesting space but is totally unrelated to the style of the building.

  • It’s in a historic district, so I don’t think a competing pop-up from the neighbors would be much of a concern. Getting approval for that is nearly impossible.

  • Its been here for a while. It is one of the reasons I moved into the neighborhood a few years ago. Someone is being nosey and a busy body and has just now seen this. There is a bell in Philadelphia that has a crack in it, it needs immediate investigation.

    Please put your thought and concern into that OR the vacant properties on T street (owned by howard or the lady exploting a loophole in DC’s laww) that have been a blight in our neighborhood.

    • They can’t all be ‘horses ass award’ posts. I think there’s room for the ‘Judging pop ups’ category as well.

      I think it’s a good popup. You really only notice the new construction behind the original facade if you’re looking from Florida and all of those windows are nice.

      Thumbs up.

    • One of the reasons you moved to the neighborhood as because of someone’s pop-up?

  • If all pop-ups looked as good as this, no one would have problems with pop-ups. it stays within the height boundaries of the original facade and it looks cool too. There are so many popups that come close to this on the front, but they put up an extra 1-2 feet (oftentimes covered in siding) above the old front wall, and they look terrible.

    This might be the best popup I’ve seen.

  • Not that I am concerned with the legality, or DCRA getting their cut, but you don’t see this side windows like this because it doesn’t meet code. A little education for PoP folks:

    – No windows are allowed within 3ft of a property line. Glass doesn’t do a very good job of keeping out a fire!
    – You can however install windows on a side wall where there is not an adjoining building, but you have to file a covenant that states that you will remove the windows if the adjoining property owner decides they want to build a building next to, or up against your building.

    • Are you sure theres no way to get an exception to those rules? I mean those windows werent cheap and the whole project looks pretty expensive. I dont doubt that you’re right, but it just seems like someone wouldnt waste hundreds of thousands of dollars to be out of compliance with rules that are so basic, so visibly broken, and so expensive to fix.

    • that’s exactly what I don’t understand about this – how they got all that glass on a lot line. I highly doubt it is fire rated glazing.

      • I know someone who used to rent an apartment in that building. I gather the owner is nice enough, but didn’t know/care at all about DC rental law. It wouldn’t surprise me if that disregard carried over to the window installation. Just because it looks great doesn’t mean it was done legally….

  • This is the crème de la crème of Pop-ups.

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