39 Comment

  • This needs some sort of a cornice to look presentable. Looks very out of line as is.

  • Jealous of that rooftop! I’m a neighbor, can we be friends?

  • Pop-ups like this one bother me because of the vinyl siding. If you have an end unit of a 100% brick house, I appreciate that you made some small effort to do the front in brick as well, but why did you get 95% of the way to the finish line of a nice-looking final product that looks like it possibly was the actual original house and then just say “eh, even though EVERYTHING ELSE is red brick, let’s put WHITE siding on the side to make sure it *really* screams pop-up!” I mean, I get it, brick costs more, but I guess I just grew up hearing my dad say “if it’s worth doing at all, it’s worth doing right” one too many times…

    • Agreed. You put a couple hundred thousand into the popup, but then skimp on the siding to save a thousand or two? Makes me wonder which other corners got cut.

      • bricking the side would be FAR more than a thousand or two. That’s probably an 8-12 thousand dollar difference.

        • Really? It looks like it’s maybe 400 sq ft. I don’t believe brick costs $20-30 a foot more than vinyl. I figure the vinyl cost them $3 a foot. If the brick costs $10 a foot, that’s a $2100 difference. Are my costs way off base?

          • They could (and probably will) paint the vinyl.

          • It’s not just the side – the vinyl also wraps around to the back of the structure. There are also structural considerations due to the increased weight of the brick, which could have required reinforcing the foundation. It’s also way up high, requiring extensive scaffolding and a permit to block the alley for several days.

            Here’s a basic calculator: http://www.homewyse.com/costs/cost_of_brick_walls.html 16k-20k for 400sf of brick (and I bet it’s more than 400sf).

            I doubt vinyl was more than $1500.

          • I’m pretty sure that calculator is for a full masonry brick wall, not for brick veneer. Nobody’s paying $45 a foot for brick siding. I’m not suggesting they build the actual addition out of brick.
            That same site says $2500 – $4,200 for 400 sq ft of Brick Veneer Siding.

    • but the brick is all wrong, even if painted. For that matter, the entire front facacde is wrong. I just don’t get it — it doesn’t look like it’s being chopped into apartments. Is it some ill-fated flip job? The owners presumably live in this beautiful neighborhood with great housing stock — why would you diminish do this to your home and your broader neighborhood. If you’re going to mess with good housing stock, FFS do it right. This is really tacky and there is nothing they can do to correct the fatal design flaws.

      It looks like they copied the popup 2 houses down (in the picture) but had to out-do them with the extra middle finger roof deck.

      • It’s doubtful that the house is being popped up by owner-occupants. The vast majority of pop-ups in D.C. are built by developers.

      • Nope. It’s totally being chopped into a multi-unit dwelling. Also, major issues with illegal construction. Failing DCRA inspections, stop work orders, etc…

      • The obligatory middle finger comment when discussing pop ups

    • This is not necessarily an example of ‘not doing it right’. There is a very strong opinion in historic preservation circles that an addition should be clearly identifiable as an addition, that it should not be a modern attempt to re-create the older fabric of the building. Since this is not in an historic district (I am guessing) that approach would apply. In this example, using siding on the side leaves the original roofline clearly identifiable, which would not be the case with brick & stucco.

      • and what does the deck with Home Depot wood railing accomplish?

      • … and I was only addressing the facade. The siding is tacky too. they could have used other materials besides cheap vinyl siding (ie cement fiberboard)

  • justinbc

    Well hopefully they paint the siding as well.

  • My problem isn’t with the roof deck or whatever is going on on that top floor because is sort of matches the similar one on the far right and the height isn’t all that different from its neighbors. I just don’t understand what they did to the windows by making them so small. It can’t have been about cost because I don’t imagine the cost of 3 custom windows was all that different than the cost to brick up the parts they don’t want. To me that decision doesn’t make any sense and it just look weird particularly given that the 3 houses to the right were obviously built at the same time with the same look and the windows on the second floor or so much bigger. For me this signals a bad developer.

    • The reason they used those tiny windows is because the ceiling of the basement unit was raised, so the windows on the main floor had to be raised to accommodate. I guess they couldn’t fit the “standard” windows that the neighboring houses have due to the raised floor. Very poor looking job, IMO.

      • Wow the bad developing job just got worse…..

  • these pop ups are an abomination and should be done away with. They increase the density of already dense neighborhoods where the extra residents will clog up the streets with even more cars where parking is already scarce. I’m sending a letter to my ANC person and my city council member. If Murial Bowser or David Catania want my vote, all they have to do is support legislation that would ban these things.

    • By city standards, none of these neighborhoods are even close to “dense”. 50 story apartment buildings is dense. The flip side of your argument is that, even in a small way, these pop-ups increase housing inventory which hopefully decreases price. Not defending this specific pop up (it’s fine), but you can’t really rail against expanding homes or creating housing inventory altogether.

  • This property has faced a lot of DCRA violations. one of the most unfortunate parts is that instead of digging out the basement, the shortened each floor to fit in 4 levels now. You can see how they reduced the window sizes to accommodate.

  • Looks even worse in person. What this picture doesn’t show is the wooden balcony that they added to the front of the house using the same materials as the wood deck up top. Very out of place and looks like a big mish-mosh of materials.

  • Ugly and done with no style….it’s like an ice cube on top of a Victorian….

  • Pop-ups aren’t the per se problem, vinyl siding on a brick house, however, is a problem…charlie foxtrot all around on this one it looks like!

  • Horrible. Shows no senstivity to the street and surrounding homes. Home Depot patio doors, vinyl siding and pressurized lumber deck on the front of the house. Can only wonder what happened the the fabulous turret that is supposed to be there? These neighborhoods need to fast-track historic designation to stop this crap from ruining a beautiful street. Shame on DC for catering to greed and allowing this to happen over and over again.

  • I live half a block away and hate it. All the houses down the block to the left have the typical Bloomingdale roofs that make the neighborhood great, then they do this.

  • Looks like it’ll match the house three doors down to the right.

  • Horrible. Horrible. Horrible. Copied the now, seemingly less horrible, pop up a few doors over. The proposed trellis will be the hideous icing on the cake.

    Pray that the same developer does not come to your neighborhood – they seem to have connections that let them skirt DCRA regs and inspections.

  • The larger issue with this house is that they really didn’t do anything to correct the major structural deficiencies. They simply stuccoed over both the rear of the exterior and the wall facing the alley. The alley wall bowes out into the alley. Instead of correcting the matter, a single support beam was inserted and then the entire wall was stuccoed to give the appearance that the wall is straight.

    Personally my problem with terrible pop-ups is that it’s often indicative of poor craftsmanship and little care for the building itself. It’s one thing to mess with aesthetics. It’s another entirely to mess with the structural integrity of a building.

  • Not to beat a dead (or dying) horse…but as someone who has a very clear, daily view of this property I was very skeptical of the pre-construction design that was ‘publicized’ via the developer’s website (note the turret on the front): http://gaineskelly.com/#/project-11-s/. Now we all know… Two other notes: First, I’m really curious about the concrete-colored band that goes around the former 2nd floor roofline. When I asked the developer (I was granted a look inside) whether he planned to affix some decoration to it (kinda like the metal band with the floral reliefs along the roof line on the house across the alley) he said no….’too expensive’ and that the types of people who will move there would neither want nor pay for that kind of decoration. Lastly, the view from the roof deck? Awesome!

  • Hello all.
    I have read and understand the comments filled with some frustrations and disappointments. I wish this was my property as I would have made it fabulous. I served only as the architect. My initial design would have been appreciated I am sure, but as with all of my work…the owner has the final ‘say so’. I tend to design with no particular budget in mind as I like to max out what’s possible. Also I believe that the city can sustain it given the current market. But I have to respect my clients wishes and needs. It’s someone else’s money. You have no idea how financing can sometimes be on something like this. So profit becomes the driving factor most of the time. I am looking for an opportunity to develop something myself. Whenever I do…you will see the difference. I am design first, profit second. Anyone know of an opportunity in the neighborhood?? let me know please: [email protected]

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