I currently live in the President Madison and have been there for 4 years. My apartment is on the first floor, facing out onto Florida Ave., so probably the noisest area of the building – you get pedestrians having loud conversations outside your window, firetrucks and ambulances from the station on U St., tour buses idling at the Hilton….having said that, I like the building overall. My apartment is at the very end of the hallway, so I only have neighbors on one side and am far from the trash room (so less chance of bugs). The windows are huge and let in a ton of light. For a studio, it’s very large and has a foyer and an eat-in kitchen. The bathroom is tiny and old, but it’s functional.
Pros: all utilities included. Hardwood floors. Thick walls so you don’t hear your next-door neighbors. Responsive management – they have no problem putting packages in your apartment, dispatching the maintenance guy, setting up more complex repairs like repainting, etc. No pet rent and a reasonable ($100 when I moved in) pet deposit. Apartments have unique features and layouts due to the age of the building. Small but functional gym in the basement. Laundry room uses cards rather than coins, and has plenty of washers and dryers (seven of each). I believe there is a bike storage room available.
Cons: sound travels vertically – I call my upstairs neighbor Captain Stompy because sometimes I swear she’s clog dancing up there. I have seen roaches in the trash room and basement hallway, and very infrequently in my apartment (maybe 3 roaches in 4 years). I’ve also had 2 mice in my apartment, but my cat took care of them, and I haven’t had one in about 2 years now. No dishwasher. Occasional house centipede sighting in my apartment – but then again, they eat roaches and other bugs.
I’ve read the reviews at apartmentratings.com and can honestly say that the roach-related ones are news to me. The building has sprayed for German cockroaches twice in the past year or so (a huge pain, since you have to remove everything from the kitchen and bathroom and take your pets out of the apartment) – but I never noticed an “infestation” or anything like what some of those reviews mention. The front office staff turns over relatively frequently; there have been 3 different people there since I moved in, but they’ve all been incredibly friendly and helpful. They’ve been doing a lot of work on the building lately (painting, plumbing, and so on), and it seems like every couple months there is a notice posted in the hallway that the water will be turned off from 9:30 am-12:30 pm on a random Tuesday or Wednesday so they can work on the pipes. It doesn’t bother me at all since I’m at work, but if you work from home or at nights, that might get a little annoying.
Hope this was helpful….please post any other questions you might have and I’ll try my best to answer them!