President Madison Apartments

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Topic: President Madison Apartments

Home and Garden April 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm

President Madison Apartments

Hello, all.
I saw a posting from 2009 re: the President Madison Apartments (1908 Florida Avenue, NW) and I’m hoping to follow up.  I am planning to move to DC – Dupont area in July and came across a listing at PMA that I’m interested in and have contacted a leasing agent, but the reviews on some sites online are less than glowing.
So my question is: does anyone currently/recently living at PMA have any insights on the place for an out-of-towner?  Is there still a roach problem (gross)?  
Thanks for any help!

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Hi, I don’t live in that building but just wanted to give you a heads up that it is on a very busy street.  I would ask the leasing agent if the apartment faces Florida Ave (that’s the busy street) and what floor it’s on (the higher the better).  Also since you’re out of town, try to get some pictures and/or the floor plan of the actual unit you will be renting, not a “similar unit”. 
Also, I live in another building owned by the same management company and they’ve always been decent to me and responsive when I need something repaired or replaced.  If you’re unsure about the President Madison, you can always ask the agent about the company’s other buildings and which ones have apartments in your price range.  Good Luck!


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 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!

Thanks to both of you for the great insights!!  @tallula I’m happy to hear that you’ve had a good experience with the management company.  Sometimes that makes all the difference!
@kac I’lm also glad that you’ve had a good experience!  It resassures me that negative online comments aren’t always what they appear.  It may be a unit-by-unit situation with the roaches.  I will definitely ask about the location, floor, proximity to trash room, and infestation history for the specific unit I’m looking at. 
Another question for you: what are the winters and summers like? I’m wondering how well the units heat/cool with the current furnace/AC setup.  I know that older building tend to be less efficient in these areas.
Also, how do you like living in that area?  When I visited, it seemed to be very lively and fun.  THANK YOU AGAIN!


The window AC unit keeps my apartment surprisingly cool in the summer.  This is where it’s especially nice that utilities are included, since those things can send your electric bill sky high!  I hate being hot, and have had no problems with the AC in my apartment keeping it cool enough.  I supplement with some fans, though – the AC unit is in the main room, so the kitchen and bathroom can get kind of hot when I’m cooking, or post-shower.  I’m assuming that the one and two-bedroom apartments have AC units in the living room and bedroom(s) – I just have a studio.  The building is heated by radiators, so they are very warm but the heat can be uneven depending on where the radiators are located in your apartment.  My tiny, windowless bathroom has a floor to ceiling hot water pipe, so it gets extremely toasty in the winter; on the other hand, my kitchen has two outside walls and a wee little radiator, so it can be chilly.  Again, since I don’t mind the cold, that doesn’t really bother me.  I do have an electric blanket for my bed, since it’s also up against an outside wall on the opposite side of the room from the radiator, but I haven’t needed to use it that often. 
I love the neighborhood, and it was one of the main reasons I chose the apartment.  It’s a short walk to the metro and several bus stops (the 42 and the 90 buses are the ones I take most frequently, and there are tons of others nearby too), there are restaurants and bars everywhere (Adams Morgan and U St. are really close), and there are plenty of Zipcars in the immediate area.  Not sure about your car situation – I sold mine when I moved to Dupont from Virginia, and haven’t really missed it. 

I believe there was a problem tenant who caused a lot of the roach problems.  She seemed pretty kooky and like a huge hassle for the management.  She probably had a bit of a hoarding situation and other mental issues if I had to guess.  She was on the second floor 20th st hallway.  My neighbor and I thought we saw a bug highway/exodus near her door while she was moving out, in fact.
I haven’t seen any roaches since the last spray, so here’s hoping we don’t have to do that anymore.
kac is right about the frequent water shutoffs.  I have been meaning to ask the management what is up with that and why it is done so frequently, kind of curious at this point.  They do often turn it back on hours before the flyers state, at least.
Florida ave can be really loud due both to the window a/c units and 100 year old walls…also those hop-on off tour buses can be disconcerting on the second floor since they are about eye level with you (and you will grow tired of the story of the attempted reagan assassination wafting in the window…)

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