55 Comment

  • I can see it. Looks about a sturdy as a house of cards.

  • Oh, you can see the lean alright.

  • Shawtrocity

  • Didn’t this one get featured on PoP recently or did I see it somewhere else? I will say this angle definitely makes this look tilt-y in a way the other picture I saw didn’t.

  • I blame the iPhone’s level app. That thing is never accurate!

  • Does it lean to the left, or does the base lean to the right (or both?)? For sure it doesn’t look square with the existing part of the building.

    • It looks like it leans to our left, the building’s right.

      • I think Anonymous means which part is straight up and down and which part is leaning? It almost looks to me like the original brick floors are leaning to the *right* and the new top floors are straight up and down. I assumed at first the new top floors were leaning to the left and the bottom floors were straight, but I’m not so sure now.
        Of course, it’s impossible to tell from the photo, not to mention that it’s possible both the bottom and the top are not straight.

    • Agreed. It looks like the old building leans to the right and the new construction on top is vertical.

      • Definitely. The base structure is out of level but the top is straight. It’s pretty common for these older structures to lean one way or another- “they built it better back then” is a total myth for these neighborhoods in DC.

        • …except that they demolished the whole original structure before building this. So, the “base structure” is also part of the new construction. The only thing that’s original is a thin brick veneer facade.

    • I feel compelled to post the Stereo MCs’ “Step It Up”:

  • Here’s what’s approved by zoning: “zoning approval for the addition of two stories and roof stair penthouse for conversion to a 4 unit apartment. no parking required for a conversion to 4 units in the c-2-a zone with 1 parking credit for no existing parking on the lot. no wall check requried for construction over existing building footprint”

    That fifth story is too large to be considered a stair penthouse and is going to violate FAR requirements. Or is there a chance the second and third row of windows aren’t being condensed into one floor?

    • I had the same thought. Unless they got a variance after the last zoning order, it looks like is contrary to what was permitted (two additional stories plus a stair penthouse).
      I think one of the comments to that post mentioned that the zoning commission might be changing their view on habitable penthouse. Could that be the case here?

      • The Office of Planning had requested a change in the zoning regulations that would allow for the penthouse to be habitable, rather than just being used for the stairway and mechanical equipment. The OP proposal also would increase the allowable size of the penthouse and the habitable space in the penthouse would not be included in the calculation of the building’s floor area.

        The window for public comment is now closed, but the Zoning Commission has not yet made a decision on the proposal. If it is approved, the developer could change the plans and add more habitable space on the roof. It will not count toward the floor area limits for this zone. The change, currently not allowed, would become matter-of-right. The case is ZC 14-13, and more information is available on the Office of Zoning web-site.

    • Looking straight through to the back of that fifth story, it looks like the stair penthouse is situated lengthwise against the front of the structure.

      • So that fourth floor has a total of 6 windows front and back, and they decided to block 1-3 of them with stairs. Makes sense.

    • So what are the options? Report to DCRA?

  • Can someone with more engineering savvy weigh in on this….I remember when they popped up on the Ella/Ava/Monstrosity they built a metal I-beam structure and then framed the upper stories around it. Is that not necessary here? It seems precarious to have two stories of timber frame sitting on top of a rowhouse without being tied in.

    • The previous article on this building provides a side view and some clarification on the true nature of this construction. The bricks you are looking at are just a facade kept from the original house. There is an entirely new building going up behind that.

  • Lets call it “Jenga”

  • On posts like this, everyone all of a sudden turns into a structural engineer.

    • bingo. could be something terribly wrong, or nothing at all such as the original structure has settled over time and extension is actually level. But I got an opinion!

    • +1. I wish we could get a verified person with actual expertise in construction to referee these comments. The Ella is an eyesore, we can agree, but I’m still skeptical of the countless predictions that it’s vulnerable to blowing over in a wind storm..

  • Absolutely hideous.

    • we don’t even know what it will look like. but by hideous, it seems that you mean to express your displeasure with popups. i’m glad you’re not dictator of washington, dc. i think it’s better to have more people living here, and regulated popups in certain areas are a good way to add density.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Perhaps they will make sure the floors are even so when you break your pearls they don’t go down all the cracks in the floor.

  • Shawrrendous. Sorry. I had to.

  • Shawtrocity

  • Looking at it every day as I walk by, I’ve come to the conclusion that if the Valero station became a building of the same height as the pop-up and the neighboring building on Rhode Island Avenue, it “might” look normal. But that’s a huge if. And until then, maybe “Shawshank” as a nickname? PoP, this demands an official contest.

  • As someone who has built a few wood houses, I can say that there a couple reasons why people typically don’t build wood structures more than 2 or 3 stories, this being one of them. God forbid that someone would actually want to build a structure that would last more than a decade or two and look nice, that would require some degree of pride in one’s work. However, as long as there are people that are willing to pay $600k to sit atop a couple thousand dollars worth of plywood put together by illegal immigrants that simply cover everything in cheap drywall so no code violations can be found, there’s not much anyone can do.

    • Illegal immigrants are by no means the only people doing sh**y construction!

      • I think he mentioned immigrants as a cost cutting measure like the plywood. He wasn’t blaming them for doing shotty persay just the developer who hires them. At least I hope not.

  • Maybe they just wanted it to blend in with that speed limit sign?

  • This may be an optical illusion owing to the white plastic on the top floor being attached at an angle. Look just along the vertical framing on the left side. Not much of a lean.

    • If you are viewing in an iPad or smartphone you can scroll up and see that there definitely not parallel lines though, the largest angle being at the top.

  • At least the monstrosity has cinderblocks along the sides. This thing is 2X4s and particle board, I guess building codes are kinda weak in DC?

  • These things would be more tolerable if they did not look like cheap junk.

  • We can say much about the middle finger, at least it looked well built. This on the other hand looks like a disaster waiting to happen.

  • Tetris anyone? What is wrong with developers in this city? What is worse will be any buyer convinced that this is a good investment.

  • I am not sure there is a single true horizontal line in the whole picture. The top stories, the porta-john and the green/white box all lean to the left, as does the speed limit sign. However, the floor line just above the stop sign seems to lean to the right. Heck, even the sidewalk line seems to lean a bit. I’d say the camera was crooked, but who could say which way it leaned?

  • is it going to be apartments or condos? how many units?

  • The final DCRA vote on 14-11 (pop-up rules) is this coming Monday, June 8 at 6:30 pm. This case is the first item on the agenda. All those supporting limits to pop-ups are encouraged to attend to show community support against developments like this leaning tower.


Comments are closed.