Federal style home additions

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Home and Garden June 25, 2012 at 10:50 am

Federal style home additions

What’s the history of the additions on the backs of all the federal style homes in DC, specifically in Petworth? When were they added?

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I’d also love to know. Our house has a very small addition…almost doesn’t seem like it would have been worth the bother. On our block, some have this, and some don’t.

Most of these additions probably started as screened-in/sleeping porches that were original to the house and at somepoint winterized.


If you look at the photo from 1920’s Petworth posted on this blog a few weeks ago, you can see that the back porches were original to the houses.

The top floor porches were referred to as sleeping porches and were an important selling point.  When the bottom floor of the addition was advertised, it was typically done so as the breakfast porch, I believe.

My 1920 rowhouse in Capitol Hill orginally had two-story sleeping porches on the back, which were enclosed in the 50’s along with all but one of the same-style houses on my block.
I’m kind of surprised it wasn’t the 40’s since due to the influx of war-workers pretty much every house on Capitol Hill became a boarding house. I would have thought that’s when the porches were enclosed in order to create more rooms to let. 

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