There are bad Pop Ups and there are Good Pop Ups – this one is also from Columbia Heights


This is at the corner of Monroe and Holmead Pl, NW. A reader associated with the project writes: “Everything above the blue paint is new construction, I think we did a great job and that it looks very natural would love to know what your readers think.” What do you guys think of the pop up?


For the curious – one 2 bed/2.5 bath unit is going for $719,900 and the other 3 bed/2.5 bath unit is going for $819,900.


38 Comment

  • binpetworth

    Really nice in keeping with the character of this block!

  • The proportions looks a little weird, but overall it’s a winner.
    There’s another very nice, historically appropriate pop-up on the westside of 11th, between Clifton and Euclid. Two condos in one house, they extended the bay window onto the pop-up.

  • Well, since you asked… things look great aside from the top-floor windows, which seem to be poorly positioned from the exterior – they seem slightly too high on the mansard roof. (I’m guessing that the interior floor plan drove their placement more so than exterior aesthetics).

    • I agree, the small windows on the mansard look like they belong on a bungalow rather than a house of this style. But that’s a minor quibble – overall this looks great.

  • I’m…speechless…I can’t believe it…I ACTUALLY LIKE IT! Well done.

  • Mansard roofs are a tasteful way to expand up and not standout as a pop-up, though slate would have been a better choice than asphalt shingles. Nice work!

  • Really beautiful. Nicely done!

  • I went to the open house. I liked it. Was surprised to see the monument from the roof deck.

  • Really lovely overall. The interiors look nice and the mansard is well done. I like the mansard generally as a way to pop-up, especially since there are already a lot of mansards in the area. There is one terrible mansard pop-up with bizarre windows near the Petworth metro though.

    This may merit a new thread, but I also just saw the finished shipping container building in Brookland. Like others I was extremely skeptical of this project and would have been really unhappy had it been in my neighborhood. But I actually really like the result. Preservation concerns aside, something tasteful is fine.

    Thinking more broadly, I’m wondering what neighborhoods can do to prevent cheap/hideous housing. I don’t think a neighborhood needs to be a museum, but tacky pop-ups detract from the quality of the block and from the value of neighboring properties. How can DCRA enforce bare minimum standards of tastefulness?

    • Well, now that OPinDC said that they won’t pursue “Conservation Districts” (Historic District-lite), your options are essentially limited to petitioning the OP for Historic District designation.

    • Can a group of neighbors agree to add restrictive covenants on their property, which are recorded and stay with the property when sold?

      • I would like to know if D.C. allows that type of covenant. But wasn’t this technique used in the past to keep the “wrong people” out of neighborhoods?

      • any group of people can sign any lawful covenant they want. good luck getting your neighbors to sign a covenant that restricts their ability to maximize the sale price of their property, though.

      • This can be accomplished through a conservation easement. I think there needs to be a 501(c)(3) involved, and your pledge to not change the house’s exterior (or whatever other conservation promise) is considered a tax deductible donation to the conservation 501(c)(3), lowering your taxes for the year you do it. The easement remains with the house (presumably depressing the price you can get at resale).

        Whether someone wants to set up such a system in the neighborhood where you live is its own question.

  • I live nearby and have been watching this thing go up. I’d give it a B+ . It works well due its placement at the end of the block. I like to style of window used, too. But like others have said, the 3rd floor windows and shingles are wrong – faux slate would’ve preserved the historical look of the place. The awning/metal thing/whatever it’s call over the entryway to the ground floor unit doesn’t match the style of the house at all and really sticks out.

    • +1. This is better than most pop-ups, and the fact that it’s a corner unit that appears to be completely detached on one side helps.
      A mansard roof is probably the least obtrusive way to pop up this type of house, but the mansard part seems to extend further over the fascia/soffit/gutter thing than it should, and the dormer windows are oddly positioned. (And maybe the wrong shape… in the style of mansard roof that this pop-up is emulating, I think the dormer windows usually have an upside-down V shape on top.)

      • great points textdoc. you have a great architectural eye from a layman’s perspective (pardon my assumption; you didn’t say gable dormers)

  • Also important to note the property includes a 3-br unit. One of the Office of Planning’s arguments against popups is that they reduce the supply of family sized units.

  • Not a fan of all Pop-Ups, but from the photos this is better than most!! It blends well with the style of the home.

  • Nicely done! This is one of the few that I’ve seen that not only maintains the character of the block but adds to it in a positive way. I genuinely like it — and I don’t think I’ve ever said that about a pop-up. It helps that it’s a corner lot — a opposed to a mid-block pop-up. I think you did a beautiful job.

  • It is quite top-heavy and stylistically off, but manages to be not hideous.

  • I Dont Get It

    Nailed it!

  • Looks like a building that never had a French Mansard top but now it does. In my mind it’s more honest not to try to mask the addition as if it were part of the original. This runs the risk of creating “Disney” versions of our row houses. Rather than trying to mask the addition in a historical style, i think the more important consideration is a question of proportion and detailing to ensure that the pop-up compliments the original structure.

  • It looks great. If I didn’t know that it’s a pop-up, I wouldn’t guess that it is.

    Thank you for putting the effort in to maintain the sense of style of the neighborhood.

  • This looks fantastic! I really wish our city required stricter requirements on pop ups so that we would have more tasteful outcomes like this one. This is a great example of balancing development goals with maintaining the beauty of DC’s historic neighborhoods.

  • Looks like 1980 landed on your building.

  • Terrific job. This will sell quickly. What’s your next project? More like this in Petworth please! There is huge demand.

  • I’ve walked past this time and time again appreciating what the developers have done. I think it keeps in line with the personality of the neighborhood but at the same time classes it up a bit. So what if they didn’t use slate…it is a beautiful addition to the block. Yes, the windows may seem a little odd (that can be said about many things we see on a regular basis) but if you are looking from within, you will see how well they work for the homeowner. I went to the open house twice just to see more. I love how they mixed warm colors with industrial fixtures.

    In the end If I were in the position to buy, I would most definitely attempt to call this place home.

  • I like it. I think it helps that it is on a corner lot. Good job. Thanks for being brave enough to ask.

  • Works well with the neighborhood and is actually respectful to the character of the building. While the proportions may be a bit funky, its still a nice job overall and vastly superior to a lot of other pop ups.

  • My thumb is popped up for this one.

  • There’s a 3br/2ba with parking for sale a block and a half away for $619k:

    The price for these seems steep. Or maybe the other one is underpriced.

Comments are closed.