“Another contender for ugliest pop up”


“Dear PoPville,

Another contender for ugliest popup — this one in the heart of Petworth at 456 Randolph St NW. Maybe you’ve seen it already, but I just had to say something bc it’s a real shame what they’ve done to it.

This house was an ugly eyesore for a long time but has (had?) great potential, so I’m glad someone is flipping it, and in general I have nothing against popups. But, they completely obliterated the nice brick curves and arches on the roofline that echoed the neighbors. How it’s a brown ugly boring box with the world’s least inspired pop up inside.


The even more annoying thing is that Landmark Construction Development shows a design on their website that included at least a watered down version of the arch, albeit with what looks like a shipping container behind it.

Strangely, after this house was sold, they gutted it completely, literally down to the brick outer walls and mud floor leaving a cathedral of empty space inside, and then left it for months before starting to rebuild. Very unusual for the neighborhood.

I note that the mirrored house at 445 Quincy St NW also had the same great roof design, and sold for $830k in January after a terrific flip job that preserved the design.

Does anyone review these things before they’re allowed to move forward?”

prior view via Google street view

22 Comment

  • Atrocious… I used to be concerned about buying in a historic district. Now, with all these eyesores popping up all over the city, I think it was fantastic decision.

  • Exactly what is so special about the arch, other than it’s old?

    • Neighboring houses have them, at intervals of every three windows. See photo #3.

      • From Google Street View, it looks like the arches begin at 432 Randolph and continue over a stretch of five houses. Then there’s a group of three houses with different (sloping roofs), and then another stretch of five houses with arches distributed at three-window intervals. Except that 456 Randolph was house #5 in that last five-house stretch and now doesn’t have its arch.
        The arches and the way they’re distributed actually reminds me a bit of some of the architectural details on my street; I wonder if it was the same builder (Kennedy Brothers) and/or architect (Alexander Sonnemann).

    • Emmaleigh504

      they look good.

  • What a pity.

  • U-G-L-Y. It ain’t got no alibi.

  • If it takes the extra profit/incentive that a pop-up can provide to restore a property like this, I say fine. It’s not so terrible, and let’s recall that the counterfactual IS NOT a beautifully restored home…it is a crumbling building serving no one but termites and cockroaches…

    • Maybe you missed this in the original post: “I note that the mirrored house at 445 Quincy St NW also had the same great roof design, and sold for $830k in January after a terrific flip job that preserved the design.”

      • You don’t know how much they made on that, you just know it sold for $830k. As Anonymous said, you don’t know what the profit is.

  • maybe judgement should be reserved until construction is actually completed?

    • I agree. I’ve never had the knee-jerk reactions to pop-ups that so many others do. And, yes, we should wait to see the finished product.

  • that is so awful. the arch is special because its a very district design on several blocks of row houses in this neighborhood. It was great design and masonry. I think its dutch colonial-I saw a lot of it in Cape town South Africa as well and I don’t see it in other locations in DC. WTF? thats hideous.

  • Pop ups are getting out of control. We really need regulation to limit them. It is always developers that make the terribly looking ones. It shouldn’t be difficult to limit developers while allowing home owners to pop their own homes.

  • Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. Would it have been so difficult to keep the brick work on top?????

  • I don’t disagree; clearly this is a very ugly pop-up, but I think it’s important to keep the context that as it stands now this is a very ugly block – nothing is being lost.

  • This is being developed by Express Home Buyers,,,you know the jingle…they buy your home in 7 days. Greed and profit rules the small time pop-up developers in DC.. Very few do quality work. People who buy these pop up death traps are asking for problems. Carpe diem.

    • Uh, pretty sure that should be caveat emptor, not “seize the day.”

      • ? Maybe “Carpe diem” was intended to acknowledge the developers? I quite agree JS, it’s just that when I read your post, I realized that with real estate, one side’s carpe diem can easily be the other party’s caveat emptor.

      • +1 you are right.
        My 2am beers failed me again. Thanks for correcting

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