19 Comment

  • I ride past this on my bike every day. If more pop-ups looked like this, there’d be a lot fewer complaints from the neighbors. Nevertheless, I think it’s a shame when developers convert 3 and 4 bedroom row houses in order to make 1 and 2 bedroom condos. There are a lot of new condos being built in this town, but as far as I know, no one is replacing 4 bedroom units that we are losing, which makes housing more scarce for families with kids as well as for people who like living in group houses. Both of those groups are important for increasing our city’s population density, so if that’s something that we value, then it seems counterproductive to decrease their housing stock.

    • I’ve read several articles recently about how DC has more housing for large families (who need 4+ bedrooms) than they have families of that size. Part of the reason for that is smaller family size than what was typical in previous generations, part of it has to do with many families moving out of DC as soon as it’s time for their kids to go to school. Fix the economy, maybe people will have more children. Fix the schools, maybe the city will keep more large families. Then maybe we’ll need to increase the housing supply for larger families.

      • “I’ve read several articles recently about how DC has more housing for large families (who need 4+ bedrooms) than they have families of that size.”
        I’m sure that’s true, but it’s so broad it’s meaningless. Looking at available housing stock over the entire city doesn’t give an accurate picture of the issue. In areas with either good or up and coming schools and even basic amenities, houses are scarce, over $1 million, or being converted to condos. In areas where the schools are, frankly, unacceptable to anyone who has a choice and there are few amenities of city life, there are lots of houses, because no one has found it worth it to either tear them down and start anew or c0onvert them into condos.
        tl/dr – the houses aren’t in places where most yound families, with young children, want to live.

        • I lived around the corner from here and pass this house every day. It really is a great popup and the developer did a superb job of building this place out. IIRC, the original house had the turret which the developer decided to rebuild onto the new 3rd floor. Really good attention to detail! The proportions are right and it helps that the developer avoided the cheap vinyl siding (ugh, so gross).
          Also, the new condo owners in this building have done a great job of keeping the ice and snow clear on their stretch of the sidewalk. I’ve seen them out there multiple times, clearing it off. Thanks for being good neighbors! So many other small condo buildings don’t even bother to try.

      • Blithe

        Perhaps part of the reason is that as housing prices have risen the number of families who both have larger families AND who can also afford a large house in DC has become relatively small. If and as the schools improve, it’s highly possible that the housing prices will continue to rapidly rise, pricing even more larger houses out of reach for most middle and lower income families. So we’ll have a dwindling supply of larger houses for the dwindling number of families that can afford them, more conversions of single family homes to small condos – for the smaller families that can afford them, and larger, less affluent families will continue to be priced out of the city. I hope I’m wrong about this though.

        • Seems like a fairly accurate pronostication.
          These days, having a sizeable family AND being able to live in relative comfort is an economic luxury.

  • *11th Street. But I agree, perfect example of a popup done right!

  • binpetworth

    This is a nice one. There are a couple on the corner of 13th and Otis as well (one of which was featured because of its recent awesome mural) whose pop-ups were built and painted to match the lower levels and if you didn’t know it, you would not recognize them as such. Shows that this can be done tastefully.

    • binpetworth

      Actually, looking at past Google Street View, I may be wrong about the one with the mural–looks like they simply built out the original attic space. But the two on that same corner were definitely popped up in style.

      • I live around here and this is correct – the two on the corner are popups, as is the one right around the corner on Otis. Further east and west on Otis there are a couple done so well you can’t really tell they’re popups from the street, and then on 10th there’s another popup that is often used as an example of a popup done right. For some reason this part of town has a lot of tasteful popups (the current unit on Spring that’s under construction being the notable exception). Since none of the blocks in this area have completely uniform row houses, I feel that the popups tend to work here.

  • This one is successful – it is compatible in material, design, and proportion. The last point – proportion – is the one that is the root of most of this debate. If more pop-ups were properly designed to the scale of the house and street – without looking like it simply is wearing an enormous incongruous ugly hat – I think the climate of the current debate would be very different. We would still have disagreement over the multi-unit housing issue, but in my experience, it is easier to have a respectful conversation over attractive things.

  • Hey developers, it can be done!

  • Emmaleigh504

    It’s popup done right, but it doesn’t match it’s neighbors at all.

    • I think it looks nicer than the neighbors. And although I usually think pop-ups should try to “blend” as much as possible with the street, it makes me question whether that is a silly criterion. If the house itself looks nice, why does it need to match its street. I don’t think I’d require that of a detached home.

      • Emmaleigh504

        I think it is a silly concretion. There are nice popups that don’t match, this one and yesterday’s House of the Day show that matching isn’t necessary.

  • This is on 11th Street just north of Clifton St (Cardozo Education Campus). Definitely my favorite pop up in the city.

  • Really cute dogs live there.

  • better than most but I still don’t like how it sticks out.

  • I live in the neighborhood and absolutely love this house. I wish I lived there!!! I think it will be exciting to see how the neighborhood develops. I am hopeful that, as the neighborhood continues to change, the future pop-ups in this area will be as beautiful (and NO vinyl… or horrible tragedy’s such as the one on V street). If they have to be done, I hope they look like this across DC but I definitely hope they stick with this theme should the houses on this street ever convert. I’ve also noticed how nice the neighbors are. I always see them out with their dogs – super cute and really friendly!!! I’m happy to see the positive changes in the neighborhood and such nice people joining our area!

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