39 Comment

  • It’s very nice. See, that wasn’t so hard was it?

    • Yes, it is relatively nice compared to many. But here is the thing: No matter how “nice” the individual pop-up may be, it will still destroy the fabric of the street architecture by breaking up the harmonious proportions of the adjacent rooflines. It sticks out like a jagged tooth no matter what it looks like. The only way to do a pop-up well (and of course this is not always possible) is to hide it behind the existing structure with a sloping roof that is not visible from the street.

      • The harmonious porportions of the adjacent rooflines sounds boring to me, especially when the row houses are more this style than the kind you find around Dupont and Logan.

      • justinbc

        I guess that’s significant if “harmonious roof lines” are something you actually care about.

        • Of course, because why should anyone care about aesthetics? Just a big waste of time!

          • Some of us like the aesthetics of this pop-up and don’t think harmonious roof lines add much to aesthetics. Clearly you think differently. Good to know.

          • I used to be okay with the rooflines on my block that aren’t harmonious but now I see that they are objectively wrong.

        • Hey now. OCD is a serious illness.

          • Equating an aesthetic preference to OCD = way out of line. What was it the Prince said the other day — “Disagree with people if you want, but be kind”?

          • Way out of line? Exaggerate much?

          • clearly you’ve never suffered from ocd and had to deal with people saying ‘oh lol I’m so ocd!!!!!!’

        • It’s basically a phrase used for pretentious NIMBYism by people who care more about roof lines than quality of housing. I’ve seen some blocks with ratty ass homes on them whine when someone tries to make an improvement, zero perspective whatsoever.

          • I’m not sure how exactly a popup equals quality housing, much of the time it equals a single family home becoming a 4 story walk up with 4 1BRs or studios or in more expensive areas they are what happens when the price per square foot for the addition is cheaper than the pp sq ft that things are selling for in that area.

            The fact that these are purely financial decisions made by developers who are in it for the quick flip is why people (rightfully if you ask me) are concerned. DC is a planned city, but developing within it is like the wild west where you can do pretty much anything if you aren’t historic and don’t exceed 60% lot occupancy.

            If you want to dig out a row home basement you need to get permission from your neighbor (I think there are ways around it if they refuse) because you could damage their foundation. It seems reasonable to me for there to be a similar setup for popups but my understanding is there is not.

            The other issue here is that matching construction materials/styles with historic stuff is expensive these days so for a developer looking to flip there is little incentive to do it right. Maybe the city should offer materials subsidies for developers interested in doing “historic” popups? Or better still, for homeowners on blocks where developers have popped up.

            Anyway the point is that if growth continues, the building height limit remains unchanged, and regulation remains the same, things are going to get a lot messier/uglier as pp sq ft goes up and popups/additions become increasingly lucrative for developers. This will attract more developers, which will further inflate the housing market which will inevitably crash and DC will be left with a bunch of 1BR apts in hacked up row houses made for a generation of single millennials who are now married, have kids and are looking for a single family home, but uh-oh there are barely any left because developers destroyed them all to make a quick buck.

            PS: I really like the popup in this thread and I’m equally annoyed by people who act like it is about roof lines as I am by people who think anti-pops (can that be a thing?) are just NIMBYs.

      • The blocks upon blocks of identical rows of houses in Petworth always remind me of the description in “Wrinkle in Time” of one of the It planets where all the houses are the same, all the kids bounce the ball at the same time, all the mothers step inside to call the kids to dinner at the same moment, etc. Uniformity can become kind of creepy.

      • Too bad my street was built on a hill so all the roof tops are not even. This is really breaking up the harmonious proportions of the street.

      • When all the other houses pop-up it will no longer stick out.

      • ItsPetworthIt

        Exactly! It has to flow with the rest of the neighborhood.

        • ItsPetworthIt

          My “exactly” comment above posted to the wrong comment.

          Pop-ups are disruptive to the flow. The idea of more pop-ups “fixing” the flow is good in theory, expect for the long timeline and that they probably won’t be coordinated well, thus still disrupting the flow.

  • This is great – one of the best pop-ups I’ve seen.

  • Have to admit, this one turned out a lot better than I thought it was going to earlier in the process.

  • Very nice-looking in and of itself. Still messes up the roofline, though.

  • It looks even better in person. I ride past it on my bike every day. Well done! I hope that other developers take note.

  • justinbc

    From the street it looks almost as if it were intended to be built that way, I’m a fan.

  • the bay windows on two levels give it more depth than many popups, but I’m on the fence about how it fits with the porch and flat front first floor. My guess is that it blends better than 3 story bay (sans porch roof), but it’s a little disjointed. At least they tried – the brick siding on the top level, proper alignment with neighboring roof lines.

    I don’t hate it, but I’d never mistake it for being there all along.

  • I actually really appreciate this one. Yeah, it’s still out of place, but if we’re going to have pop-ups (and I think we probably should), they should be done well. This is.

  • I normally hate popups. However, it looks much better than the undistinguished and somewhat un-maintained neighboring houses.

    What I would really like to see is that developers buy neighboring houses and do copy-cats. What about a whole row of similarly-scaled, but different pop-ups.

  • *golf clap* I see things about this pop-up that I don’t like such as the quality/proportions/positioning of the angled windows on the bump-out in the front but overall, this is most definitely one of the better pop-ups!

    Speaking of pop-ups, POPville’s favorite condos are back on the market:
    What are the odds they’ll sell this go-round?

    • Wow, looks like they’re just trying to offload the entire property at once.

    • I’d seen this go up and thought it couldn’t get any worse. But I looked at the inside photos and they are just awful. Check out the backsplash in the bathroom showers (on second thought, don’t. Trust me, you don’t need to see the ugly decorative tile that runs vertically.)

    • Unit #1 (the $399k one) went under contract a couple of days ago. The other two ($750k, $800k) are still on the market. Future owner of unit #1 – look forward to living in an empty building.

  • I think it’s nicely done. I actively appreciate the disharmony of the roof lines, in fact just recently I was noticing how interesting the disharmonious the rooflines are in my neighborhood with various turrets, projections, and other variations. Maybe this block is headed in the same direction.

  • It’s okay for a pop up, but the pop arms race is just beginning and the popups that follow will be siding and cinderblock hack jobs.

  • Walk past this one regularly. Really nice job. It looks like it also has an additional pop-up for an interior staircase to a rooftop deck (not really visible in the pictures). I’m looking to do something similar to create an interior staircase for roof access. Developer/owner–who did you use? Anyone else have any recommendations for a contractor in DC that has done this sort of roof-top renovation? TIA.

  • Pure class!

  • Lots of old streets in Baltimore have rowhouses of varying heights and widths, and, to my eye at least, that delightful. In fact I prefer that to the blocks and blocks of uniform rowhouses that dominate certain parts of that city.

    Still, I have mixed feelings about this rehab because the new house, however handsome, is the ONLY one of its kind on the street. It’s so showy in that setting that I wouldn’t feel comfortable living there. As someone else said, if another one or two went up on the block, it would help this one a lot.

    Kudos to the rehabbers though, who seemed to be aware of this pitfall of building this first one, and tried address it as well as they could by letting the proportions of its neighborhood guide them in building the porch and second storey. Not everyone would go to the trouble and expense.

  • A roofline of varying heights can be lovely, but this ain’t that. More like a middle finger jutting up mid-block. Seriously, what kind of preservation magic is needed to put a stop to these things?

  • I live in a pop-up in NoMa. Granted, on the 2nd floor so not in the “popped up” part, but still.
    It’s also an end house next to an empty lot, so it doesn’t stick out as much.
    I found housing in my budget close to a metro. Please get off my back about this.

  • I don’t have a problem with the popup breaking up the roof lines, but I don’t get why they tried to put a victorian chassis over colonial frame. That’s why it sticks out like a fancy sore thumb.

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