Popping Up on 17th Street, SE


Thanks to @Susan0406 for tweeting us the example above from 17th Street, SE. Think it has potential to be a good one or is it too early to tell?

23 Comment

  • Hopefully they make the addition brick much like the popup at 231 17th st SE and not like that monstrosity at 1701 independence.

  • Not sure how you can make the front facade any uglier…

  • Emmaleigh504

    So far so good.

  • Hard to tell much from this photo. Is it a remodel or something being done by a homeowner? It doesn’t look like the downstairs is being rehabbed.

  • There are a couple of monstrosities on this block already…

  • Think it has potential to be a good one? No

    or is it too early to tell? No

  • I vote “bad one” – they all look ridiculous. Why aren’t they building out v. up? When we lived on 5th SE, a neighbor did that and it was far more attractive and useful.

    • Likely lot coverage rules. The zoning variance to add more out back is *much* more cumbersome than permit approvals to add height, so long as that height is within existing Height Act maximums. Also probably not wanting to lose what is surely already a small back yard space or parking, if they have it. People would be screaming bloody murder if someone tried to get a zoning variance to build out, but that eliminated existing on-site parking. I say wait and see how they finish it. If they put on a brick facade and paint it a consistent color, it will probably look pretty nice. I don’t see how differences in height between homes are “ridiculous” until they reach the absurd (like the 5-story V St. set against its 2-story neighbors…one floor difference doesn’t mean much to me, 3 looks out of place). I’d be all for design reviews of pop-ups, to make sure they are done in a manner that makes the house look like a single unified building, but not banning them in a city where zoning rules and development limits are driving rents and purchase costs through the figurative roof.

  • The upper level screened in porch is really obnoxious. A lot of these pop ups are done on the cheap and sold off with major problems. And they don’t care about how it makes the block look because the developers don’t live there. Most or all these ugly pop ups would never be done a resident. This is the worst part about this stupid mess – these flippers don’t care about aesthetics at all, building up or out makes their payday a little better at the expense of the people who want to live in beautiful Washington DC.

    • What makes you think they’re going to screen it in? Just because the neighbors screened in their first-floor front porch? I find it far less aesthetically pleasing when someone encloses their front porch in siding and adds it to the living room. Looks like a tumor on the front of the house.

    • I’d say if someone purchases the two condos this will become, your point is simply incorrect. I don’t see a lot of these pop up conversions to condos sitting empty. And I don’t see the trend subsiding.

      The reality is all of those houses on that block will, at some point, have pop ups. Just like how the number of rowhomes in Dupont and Logan Circles that have not yet been divided up into condos is dwindling and dwindling. At a 2% population growth per year, you’re frankly just running out of places for people to live.

  • Missing the window over the door makes this place pretty ugly to begin with.

    • Nice catch! Hopefully they un brick it and put a window in to match the neighbors.

      • Emmaleigh504

        why do they all have to match?

        • Matching in the suburbs is cookie cutter and an abomination, matching in the city is the only thread keeping us from spiraling into an abyss where quality of life is a distant memory and our children’s live are in peril.

          • Emmaleigh504

            aaagghhhh the context! They aren’t considering the context! Our children are DOOMED. We are all doooomed.
            I should probably never own a row house in this town, I’d paint it purple and the neighbors would all have strokes.

        • Blithe

          They don’t HAVE to match, but visually, aesthetically, we perceive a row of row houses as a coherent, whole entity. Differences in small details — paint, decoration, plantings, kind of embellish that whole entity. Some small differences in design will as well. Larger differences with no effort to replicate or respect the visual integrity of the row are kind of jarring — although sometimes the differences are themselves replicated, and the visual integrity returns.
          What’s interesting to me is that for those of us who grew up in row houses, our architecture influenced our commonality as neighbors. With gentrification, a lot of people moving into row houses likely grew up in single family detached homes where the architecture supported individuality and its expressions in multiple ways. It’s a bit of a stretch, but this cultural difference is likely a factor in many of the “Dear PoPville, my neighbors….” letters.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I consider that missing window a small detail, like paint color or those awful shutter. And I think that the popups with eventually be replicated, so the height matches. I’m ok with that. But I would prefer more homeowner popups, than developer popups that are split into condos.

    • Yeah, I too was wondering what was up with the missing (bricked-over?) window.

Comments are closed.