Dear PoPville – What’s the Story with the old Mayfair Apartment Building in Mt. Pleasant


“Dear PoPville,

There is a SUPER creepy apartment building at 1647 Lamont St. NW.

The glass doors at the entrance reveal a front vestibule that is completely crowded with plants (which are all well maintained and thriving, so SOMEONE must be taking care of them). Also, if you look closely, there’s a mannequin that sits at the top of the stairs that wears a NEW CHANGE OF CLOTHES EVERY DAY.

What’s even creepier is every accessible entrance has two very prominently displayed cameras. I’ve attached a few pictures.

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 10.47.54 AM

I’ve never seen anyone enter or leave the building.

I found this forum thread though it hasn’t been updated since 2011.

Does anyone have any additional information about this building? It really gives me the heeby jeebies.”



73 Comment

  • Thats wild someone changes the clothes daily lol

  • My theory has always been that this is one of the undisclosed locations where the medical marijuana plants are being grown. A lot of changes happened to the building when that issue was voted on.

  • My friends lived there. The cameras are presumably because there is an alley that is relatively secluded and itinerant people have taken to sleeping/ answering the call of nature back there.

    • I lied they lived next door. Still might still apply. That stretch in particular always used to be very popular for some reason.

  • I live in the building next door, facing the Mayfair. Last year around this time, I saw some kind of construction going on inside– I think HVAC work. Got a look in one of the windows, and it seemed like a big storage room.

    I’ve never seen anyone go in or out, either.

  • I live next door and it is creep as hell! Damn mannequin is so disarming and weird.

    More importantly, the roof is sinking and has a tarp held down with about 50 5-gallon paint drums. A friend reported it to the housing authority. It cannot be safe.

  • Just called the number and the guy who answered the phone confirmed it is the Academy for Advanced and Strategic Studies. Google is your friend….

  • I HATE how this great old building is wasted and the dead spot it creates on Lamont Street. I reported it to DCRA when I moved in, because I know that the roof can’t be safe (happy to send a picture of it, btw). I actually just heard back from them a half hour before this was posted, and they say that it isn’t vacant.

    I don’t know if one person in a 14-unit apartment building is enough to get around vacant building taxes, but walking by this every night, it seems to be a gaping loophole.

  • can PoP start a daily report of what the creepy mannequin is wearing today a’la house of day and garden of the day? creepy mannequin>houses around town. im just sayin’…

    • My theory: some weird dude inherited this apartment building from his family and does not have the means to bring it up to code (especially if it’s true that the roof is caving in). Sounds like there are some mental health issues at play here, as well.

    • There’s a house that I walk by on my way to work that has a skeleton out front and every day it is wearing different clothes/accessories. I love walking by that place! But it’s just in the month leading up to Halloween, so it seems less creepy.

    • I second that

    • omg—please post pictures of this mannequin! this is totally weirding me out!

  • Apparently Gregg Edwards lives there

    that academy you are seeing is something he run in the past. apparently from the building
    he is the only one living there it seems

    apparently he is or was the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANC) chair

    • Yes, unfortunately he was chair of the ANC for many years – he’s a very very strange guy. So glad he’s out of the ANC – he did more harm than good.

    • Is he the one who did a newsletter and left it for all his constituents? I used to get that when I lived in Mt. P. He seemed like more of a busybody than anything. I’m not terribly surprised this is him.

      Norman Bates stuff going on there if you ask me.

      • I believe you’re thinking of Jack Evans. He still publishes a newsletter for his SMD.

        Gregg Edwards is a strange, eccentric guy who has been around Mt.P forever. It’s a shame that this building has been allowed to deteriorate, because it’s clear that it was very well constructed and it must’ve been a very nice apartment house years ago.

        • No, you’re thinking of Jack McKay. He’s also been on the ANC for ages & hand delivers his ANC newsletter to all houses in his SMD.

  • Read the hyperlinked thread. It’s owned by a wacky trustfunder with fingers in Mt P politics. The real story is way crazier than just medical mojojojo.

  • So, I put “Academy for Advanced and Strategic Studies” in the search at LinkedIn. Gregg E. comes up, but so do a couple of others. Most interestingly is a woman who many years served as an intern to the organization. Here is what she says her job was:


    Academy for Advanced & Strategic Studies
    February 2000 – May 2000 (4 months)|Washington D.C. Metro Area
    I curated a portfolio of documents and photos, which was filed with local government against a landlord providing substandard low-income housing. This led to successful legal action. I also archived academy materials.

    I wonder who the landlord was? Sounds like a crappy internship…

    • Sorry, I didn’t see the person’s picture but based on the name thought it was a woman. The intern was a guy. Still Creepy.

    • I am calling him back to offer my services. Then I am going to tell him his neighbors are talking about him on this site and the authorties have been called to lien his property (DCRA). Ridiculous, communication solves so many of the world’s problems. I guess it is better to talk about someone instead of offering to help your neighbor… He is about 16 blocks away but he is still my neighbor….

      • This has been going on since at least 2005, and he was a public figure (on the ANC) until the last election. I think that ship has sailed, so authorities were/are the direction I took.

      • What are you talking about?

      • Apparently the person who lives at the building, which is in a state of waste, is an ANC commissioner. As ANC commissioner he is in a position to enforce rules against others. I think it is a valid topic of conversation that the same person doesn’t seem to comply with the same laws. Also, the linkedin information is interesting because it indicates the city has in the past tried to enforce the laws but for some reason was bested by the landlord. So, maybe he needs your help or maybe the city needs to be notified. Again.

  • Here is my proposed question of the day: Is Mt Pleasant the most haunted ass neighborhood in DC ? There are tons of things like this all over once you really start going down alleys and looking around. I’ve lived and worked in MtP for more than 5 years and love it , but it is pretty odd.

  • omg if this the infamous Greg Edwards building. he was a notorius ANC commissioner until he finally lost. The guy is INSANE and killed any helpful or logical discussions in his ANC. I worked for the govt and dealt with him enough to know. Rumor was that he lived alone in the entire building and yes he owns it. Not sure how. No idea if he ever had a paying job. I won’t go into details cause I would just end up busting myself at work, but dang, total and complete whacko. And this is why most ANCs are useless.

  • Something bad. Reminds me of cleveland house.

  • Love it. Keep DC weird!

  • 2013 Assessment
    Land: $492,750
    Improvements: $317,980
    Total: $810,730

    Yeah, Gregg Edwards is probably under-taxed. Or that building must be seriously dilapidated.

    • For comparison purposes, let’s look at the building next door – 1627 Lamont. It’s similar in size; in fact, it receives the same exact land assessment as Mr. Edward’s building.

      2013 Assessment – 1627 Lamont
      Land: $492,750
      Improvements: $1,837,950
      Total: $2,330,700

      1627 pays approximately $20K a year in property taxes, while 1647 is taxed roughly $6K. Must be nice.

  • Want to see something crazy?

    Check out the aerial view of the building on Google Maps. LOL.

    • Haha 😀 Holy shit. The aliens can land now!!

    • How did you do that? I entered the address and it takes me to the front of the building. Can’t navigate to the roof.

      • Just zoom out (i.e. exit street view).

        So the blue things are tarps (I assume the roof leaks), what are the other black dots??

        This reminds me of the Paper Street Soap Company for some reason….

        • I believe that they are weighted buckets, which are being used to hold down the tarp.
          I can’t believe this place is considered to be inhabitable. Insane. I’m assuming the city is trying to “wait out” Mr. Edward’s health.

    • Holy crap! What the hell is that? The paint buckets?

  • Well, yes, it is super creepy, but it’s also totally legal. Most of the houses on my block have basement rental units, but most of them are not rented out. The owners keep them for guests, or storage, or they just use them as extra parts of the house because they don’t want to deal with being landlords. And that’s legal. Just because you have a “vacant” unit as part of your property doesn’t mean it’s a vacant *building*, and the vacant and blighted tax only applies to entire buildings. And, for the record, he might have converted it from a 14 unit building into a big giant house – if nobody’s been inside in a while, who would know? And while I’d certainly find that to be an excessive amount of space for one person (or even one family), that certainly doesn’t stop other people all over the city and the country from doing it. Biltmore Estate was built for one family, after all.

    While I would personally find it incredibly uncomfortable to live in a completely vacant multi-unit building all by myself, I can see how some might like it. Back in college I made the mistake of being one of the last to move out of a dorm my freshman year. It was EERIE walking down the halls to the bathrooms and seeing all those open doors to empty units! After that, I *always* tried to move out the first day we could every year – I didn’t want to be the last one there again. But, I knew people who preferred to wait and be one of the last ones out. They found it peaceful.

    And for whatever it’s worth, I COMPLETELY second nwean at 2:54pm – I would love to get a daily, or at a minimum, weekly, photo of what the mannequin is wearing this week. It would easily and quickly become the absolute best feature of this entire blog, and that’s saying a lot given how much I like the other features it already has…

    • I think the primary issue is that the city is pulling lots of favors for Mr. Edwards that other homeowners do not get to take advantage of. It’s obvious that the building is not up to code and that a lot of work was done without being permitted. Furthermore, the property is drastically undervalued by assessors by $1.5 million dollars, thus giving Mr. Edwards a massive tax break. There are more economically productive uses for the building.
      While he is the owner and may exercise his right to live alone in the building, he needs to pay his fair share in property taxes. The city (and ultimately the taxpayers) should NOT be subsidizing the hermit lifestyle of eccentric and shrewd real estate investor.

      • There have been a few discussions over on the Mt Pleasant Forum about this property and owner. If you get on the forum and search for Gregg (or Gregg Edwards) you’ll find the threads.

        More entertaining are threads when he comments at great length about a topic and never fails to include some obscure yet tangentially related fact from the industrial revolution or theories from random social anthropologist….

      • “Pay your fair share”- why aren’t you voicing your concerns a couple blocks over in front of Bank of America? or AT&T, or…this city’s full of real tax dodgers. This thread has turned into a hen-pecking session, focusing on the eccentricities of some small-fry old local dude (building is not a direct danger to anyone or even an eyesore). “HOW DARE YOU BE WEIRD IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD??!!” And I thought high school ended at graduation… Original Twilight Zone had an episode about “the Monster Amongst Us”, where it turns out that the Monster was the once hunting and pointing fingers.

        • Focus! has it right. Amen to that!
          It is such a shame that people are slamming on this guy. Get over it. You moved into a city, not some fancy pants town in Ohio. If you have such a big problem with this building go knock on the door and offer your help. One guy can’t take care if an entire property. Plus, no one knows his side of the story. Maybe he can’t afford to live anywhere else. Perhaps, he loved MtP so much that he can’t stand the thought of leaving it. I think he won’t leave MtP because he is afraid yuppie hipsters are going to move in and will change everything about the neighborhood the claim to love.
          Why can’t we just embrace how super awesome our neighborhood is? Why change it? Geez.
          Why don’t you all slam on the new chuck who is asking to save Monroe st. from “noise pollution”. She is claiming it causes birth defects and all sorts of BS. Why can’t you all tell her to get the heck out of the ‘hood. If you move into a city, expect city living. If you need to have a perfect cookie cutter town I hear that Leesburg is just fantastic.
          Offer a hang instead of hating.

        • +100000000

  • I remember crazy artist-parties that may have been in this house in the early 80’s. Like musical stairs, and a Minitel computer.

  • I am creeped the fuck out by the n’hood forum threads.

  • I used to live next door at the Majestic and would watch him and his handymen go up on the roof before rainstorms and move all those buckets of bricks around strategically and shift the tarps, presumably to prevent leaks. The whole roof looked like it could cave in at any minute. I also heard from someone who went in with him on ANC business that the entire house is filled with rare books.

  • For a bit more about the owner:

    “Edwards, a “futurist” who has a PhD in theoretical physics from Rice University and moved to Mount Pleasant in 1974, sees the conflict as representative of a fundamental cultural divide in the neighborhood: affluent homeowners versus working-class apartment dwellers.

    Edwards isn’t necessarily a natural representative of the proletariat. He says he lives in an apartment—but he also happens to own the building where said abode is located, at 16th and Lamont Streets NW…”

    • “In an e-mail, he noted that he knows of similar-minded neighbors who had used voodoo in order to ward off gentrification.” Ha, well on 16th St and Oak there once was a house that had a Voodoo curse on it not too long ago. Once the owner sold that house the curse was released and there’s a wonderful family that lives there now. But I’ve talked to neighbors who could hear cackling, screaming, and shaking coming from the house next door and that was after the owner moved out and no one was living there to make any noise.

  • Due to this post, the owner is going to be on his toes for the next few weeks, wondering why so many people are all the sudden stopping and looking at his house.

  • Its going to be some sweet condos in 20 years when he dies and it is finally sold in an estate/tax auction.

  • If no one has ever seen anyone enter or exit the building, how does this guy get in and out? I mean surely someone has seen him coming or going, right?

  • Walked by a million times and never noticed a mannequin. I do like the iron fish pendant over the front door though. Mount Pleasnt is quirky and that’s why I love to live there.

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