44 Comment

  • It’s so difficult to judge this early, but plus marks for extending the bay protrusion. This one will completely depend on the facade material and cornice line. The height is perfectly in line with the entire block (that was conveniently framed out of this photo)

    • Actually, the height is now an additional two stories above the surrounding houses. I don’t see how that puts it inline with anything. One of the iconic beauties of Bloomingdale is the views of the turrets all at the same hight. First Street has many beautiful houses, but this will completely ruin the sight line. But, this addition isn’t about beauty, it’s all about the money.

  • Looks a lot like the bigger 5-story row houses up in Boston. Seems like a good model for how to preserve the low-rise row house feel of the city, but still allow growth and density in established areas.

    Of course it is too soon to judge how this will turn out. They could really cheap out on the exterior and just make it look like crap.

  • makes me sick to see this….this particular row is a row that visually defines the Bloomingdale neighborhood as it is the entrance from 1st and Seaton to the hood. The cupolas are iconic visually to denoting this hood …you even see them on the opening to House of Cards…. To see developers just rip them off and replace them with vulgar pop ups….just makes me think that there is some major shortsightedness in the preservation of the city’s architectural heritage. I dont have any problem with greater density….build as many highrise condos as you want, but don’t destroy the historic architecture and the character of the different neighborhoods.

  • It’ll be just fine.

  • What a pity. At least when the next-door neighbor added a pop-up, they put it behind the turret and left the turret intact.

  • People need to get a life. It’s just a house. Some people in DC have way too much personal identity wrapped up in DC row homes. As if their character is defined by residing in a historic row home. There’s a lot more to one’s life, if worth living.

    • Wrong Tui. How would you like it if you invested 600 plus in a downtown row home to have it overshadowed by a pop up/out…. you can live in it’s shadow the rest of your life, use your backyard as 3 or 4 condos look out over you (BBQing in the Panopticon! Yay!) or sell your property for less than everyone else around you because no one who has 600 plus to spend wants to live next to a popup. Or you can pop up your house and turn it into 3 condos and piss off your neighbors too…. Whatever the case you’re screwed. It’s not about identity at all….

      • Tui is clearly doesn’t own anything and is renting a basement apartment in Petworth with no windows.

        • Or maybe Im a 2nd generation DC resident who owns a row house in Park View. Great location, good value. But my home is not an extension of my soul.

      • “or sell your property for less than everyone else around you because no one who has 600 plus to spend wants to live next to a popup.”

        No. Plenty of value if your rowhouse can becom 3 or 4 condos. These neighborhoods are changing–allow those of us who can’t afford a whole rowhouse to buy a smaller condo. Get used to it. If you want a yard with privacy move further out.

    • Blithe

      Jane Jacobs would strongly disagree with you.

      • Jane Jacobs believed in vibrant neighborhoods that consisted of population density, mixed uses, short blocks, and mixed building types/ages. She would never approve of blocks of SFHs frozen in time.

        • Blithe

          Jane Jacobs also believed that vapid and lackluster designs and poor planning can be destructive — on multiple levels. Neighborhoods do, indeed, have characteristics and even characters that can be destroyed. So, a critical question here is not whether neighborhoods and cities are dynamic, but what the impact of poorly planned random changes might be on specific neighborhoods and cities.

    • You are either not personally invested here, or you are a flipper/developer who only cares about their immediate profit. If you think architecture makes no difference on the social fabric / culture of a neighborhood, then you are highly mistaken. I’d link some follow-up reading, but you don’t seem to be to interested in the perspective of others.

    • It may be one fugly house, but it ruins the lines of the entire block. DC can not act fast enough to stop these popups, lest the informal name of this board “PoPville” become unfortunately a very apt name for the area.

  • clevelanddave

    Tui: You sound like a developer, not a neighbor. To go from two stories to four, without a setback on the fourth floor shows little care for the architectural character of the neighborhood. You wouldn’t care much either if your objective is to maximize the space: build out, flip out, get out. The city has a responsibility here because the city should care about the long term interests of a neighborhood’s appearance. In cases like this or a few other monstrosities so out of character with nearby structures the city is abandoning a basic responsibility to its citizens.

  • brookland_rez

    Assuming they match the brickwork and architecture, I don’t have a problem with this.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Looks like a good start.

  • I’m always so surprised when the reaction to careless development in DC’s historic neighborhoods is “get over it”. There is a reason, beyond shopping options and restaurants, that residents and tourists alike visit and have a high regard for (and will pay high prices for) places like Georgetown and historic Capitol Hill. Not every neighborhood can be a Georgetown, but continuing to allow development that is inconsistent with the architectural integrity of historic neighborhoods that define a city is extremely shortsighted and foolish, frankly. Rightly or wrongly, aesthetics matter. And yes, in the short and long run, it will affect property values. I would be extremely nervous about investing in a row home that sits next to a poorly developed home/condo development, or where the standards for development continue to be low such that one of these can be thrown up at anytime.

  • Looking good. Definitely digging how the upper floor matches the bay windows. It’s a bit early yet though to tell. Some historical preservation is a good thing. It’s a case by case basis. But to all these people arguing for historical preservation of every building I think that’s bullsh*t. Why can’t a city visually change over time? If people want to maximize the potential of their own home then they should be able to do so. I’m a home owner as well and would love the ability to be able to do this one day if I wanted.

    • Yes, city scapes can change…take a look at Noma …. however, some neighborhoods have a “sense of place” that should be preserved and Bloomingdale is one of them. Other places can be designated for change. But just willy nilly popping up historic houses is a bad idea and especially with these poorly planned, poorly integrated designs. Have you SEEN the pop ups in Bloomingdale? Really, they aren’t much more than a shipping container on top of a house. I don’t know how you can defend that sort of thing. Few developers are making the investment that it takes to integrate their pop ups architecturally and material wise.

      • justinbc

        Bloomingdale is not a historic district. There’s lots of old stuff in DC, doesn’t mean it all carries the “historic” designation. Just being ~100 years old shouldn’t be a qualifier for OMG WE CAN’T EVER CHANGE THIS!

        • Well, i’m sure that this sort of thing is going to make people consider that

        • Justin, your “Bloomingdale is not a historic district” line is a red herring in this thread, as Todd never mentioned that it was. Read again: “some neighborhoods have a “sense of place” that should be preserved and Bloomingdale is one of them.” If you wish to argue that Bloomingdale does not have a “sense of place”, you may surely do so, though many people would certainly disagree with you, especially those who’ve been here more than once to drink a beer at Boundary Stone.

        • what makes a district justinworthy of being an historic district?

        • The Office of Planning actually just recently concluded a multi-year review of Mid City East, which includes Bloomingdale and Eckington, and produced a plan for the future growth of the area. One of the significant recommendations that came as a result of the study was the designation of Bloomingdale and Eckington as historic districts. Such designation would go a long way to preserve the unique character of these beautiful areas. You can check out the full plan, report, and recommendations here: http://planning.dc.gov/publication/mid-city-east-small-area-plan-one-pager

      • Tsar of Truxton

        City scapes can change as long as it is not in my back yard!!! Seriously people, your beloved roof lines are not that important. I will agree that it would be nice if the developers made them look nicer in some cases, but it really isn’t impacting your property value in a negative way. If anything, it will improve your property value because a 2br condo will sell for 600k+, which makes your 3/4 bedroom SFH more valuable.

  • justinbc

    The amount of people who regularly comment on these posts, presumably knowing very little based on a sole photo, that always assume it’s a “developer” (they make the word sound like Satanist) is quite humorous. Don’t you think that some of the people able to buy 600k, 700k, 800k, etc houses can also afford to add onto them for their own personal enjoyment?

    • Yeah, sure….there’s just one problem…there isn’t a single instance of that in Bloomingdale. To date, It’s ALL speculators and developers (and even then just a few) that are building the most odious popups…it’s not residents of the hood. Granted, the people that actually live here do sometimes popup, but it’s almost always set back and hidden from the street. I”m guessing that this is because they care about the hood and their neighbors. To date, ALL the egregious popups are from OUTSIDE developers who do not live in this neighborhood. There is no problem with flipping or developing or whatnot, but when you give the rest of the hood the middle finger because you just don’t give a shit what others think, then you got an issue.

      • justinbc

        In one sentence you say it’s “all developers” and then the next sentence you say “the people that actually live here do sometimes popup”. Thank you for perfectly proving my point about your 1) hyperbolic reactions and 2) that real denizens do it themselves.

      • novadancer

        wrong… I live in a “pop up”. Prior owner converted it from a small 3 level to a large 4 level – not a developer either. Granted our house matches the height of the house on one side (but not on the other).

        These are also the same people who are crazed about mcmillan park too. Sometimes I am just over bloomingdale!

      • you should start a popupblog about this.

    • Justin, did you miss the large “Urban Investment Partners” banner plastered over this building? This is definitely a “developer”.

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