Popping Up on the 1400 block of Shepherd St, NW


A reader writes:

“Sold for $590,000 in June of 2013. They beat out more than 10 offers (sold in 3 days!), offered all cash and paid more than $120,000 over list. The house had been owned by two families since it was build in 1922.

The house needed significant repairs (new electrical, plumbing, some structure work on the sleeping porch, etc), but had gorgeous woodwork (immaculate floors, gorgeous pocket doors, trim, etc). It has since been gutted, basement dug down, and now a third story added. The permit reads:

“Renovation of a single family dwelling and convert it into three apartment units, Remove all interior partitions and exterior rear wall, Install new partitions, new electrical, new plumbing and new HVAC systems as per plans.NEW REAR 3RD FLOOR ADDITION,ROOF TOP DECK WITH SPIRAL STAIRS,NEW EXTERIOR CO”

Neighbors are not pleased as this kills the symmetry of this beautiful block.”


21 Comment

  • ThunderCheese

    This is soon to happen on our street of seventeen 1920 houses. Neighbors are not pleased, indeed.

  • Will someone think of the density!!!

    • My sense is that the general attitude is ‘+1 for density’ when it’s not your block and the more NIMBY perspective of ‘kills the symmetry’ and ‘looks out of place’ when it is

    • It’s only density if more units are added. Just as many times this is just someone’s vanity master bedroom. All the ugly and none of the density. But really, if you want to save the world with density, put it in the suburbs where the sprawl is.

      • No – it’s only density if more residents are added. Housing units are just a means to an end.

    • You can achieve greater density without building pop-ups. This developer just wanted more $$$.

  • Unfortunately you only own your property, not the view of or from your property.

  • I don’t know about “symmetry” — perhaps continuity of the roofline is more accurate. It’s not clear at this point really how much more density this will bring, as you have a single family home (capable of housing at least 4 occupants, even more if there are children who can share rooms) being replaced with 3 apartment units (probably housing 1-2 individuals apiece). At best you’re probably adding maybe one to three extra residents to the block, or at worst, actually removing residents from the block.

    • +1 to this comment.

      IIRC around the release of the last census everyone thought the population would have gone up significantly around Columbia Heights – when it was actually flat because so many homes with extended families living under one roof were replaced by new residents who were primarily young and single with no kids – yet they demanded more square feet per occupant.

  • Ugh. I love this block. This stinks.

    • I ask this seriously. What is it that you love about the architecture of this block? I don’t find it at all appealing.

      • Architecturally there’s nothing special about this block. But it is a dead-end that overlooks Piney Branch Parkway and that does makes it unique.

  • He’s drinking their milkshake. Have fun with that.

  • Destroying the symmetry?

    Or breaking up the monotony?

  • Windows? WINDOWS?? For the love of God, some windows at least.

  • What a shame. I feel bad for the neighbors on this block.

  • The horror!

  • when are all the other ugly houses going to attempt to change?

  • Yeah. “beautiful block” is certainly subjective.

    • I guess if you don’t find it beautiful then it doesn’t matter than someone puts up an ugly addition. That makes sense…

Comments are closed.