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Horse’s Ass Award Another Mt. Pleasant Nominee

by Prince Of Petworth April 22, 2010 at 9:08 pm 45 Comments

Well this nominee doesn’t get me as agitated as the burned out apt. building at 3145 Mt. Pleasant Road, NW but it’s still disappointing. The house on the right is an iconic Mt. Pleasant row house. You know the one with all the tricycles on Park Road, NW. Well the one on the left has been boarded up for what seems like years. I think it’s time to renovate or sell, right? I’m seriously curious about what you guys think about this one? Do you think it’s ok for the owner to keep it a boarded up shell as long as they pay vacant property taxes? Though serious taxes only come when a property is deemed blighted.

  • If you had a bright yellow and green house next to yours like the one in that pic, it would be fairly hard to rent your spot out. I can’t blame them for being boarded up, that paint job is horrible!

    • boo

      Are you kidding? That house is a jewel.

      • Rob

        I got to agree with Col Hts… when I first saw this post my initial impression was that the horses ass went to whoever picked that color scheme.

        • anon

          If you don’t like it you can always move to a suburban enclave with a bunch of community restrictions about what color you can paint your house and how tall your grass can be. To keep everything nice and bland. I for one like a little variety. But I guess what makes it so great is the fact that it so offends dull yuppies.

          • S

            “Move to the suburbs” and “yuppies” in one post! Ladies and gentlemen, your Originality winner of the day right here. If only your thought process was as creative as the house you adore…

          • anon

            Who said I was going for creativity? Must we all be wannabe stand-up comedians in blog comments? I was just casually pointing out that the people who are so offended by paint jobs that are out of the norm are boring yuppies. But then in all likelihood you’ll be moving from the city soon after you spawn, and this house will remain. In all its splendid, offensive-yellow glory. So no skin off my back. Furthermore you wouldn’t have been compelled to refute my comment if you didn’t know I was right.

          • Anon808

            Here we go again. It’s like living in the city strips you of all opinion and right criticize an ugly paint job on a building. Which that yellow building is in my opinion.

            I truly hope your post tongue in cheek…

          • Dull Yuppie

            You forgot to mention that in the suburbs there are also restrictions on decorating your house with creepy tricycles.

          • Anonymous

            there are restrictions in mt pl also about almost everything actually…but in this case the painting was ok ..almost all residential areas suburban or city have restritions on what you can do to your property..you own it, yes but…pisses me off to tell the truth, where were these folks at my closing to pay for the facade of my home?

        • neener

          You guys have no idea what you’re looking at do you? Ignorants.

          It’s called a “Painted Lady” and it’s a totally acceptable color scheme in Victorian housing.

          you sound like George W Bush here.

    • victoria

      I would pay extra to live beside a bright yellow and green house! And more for each additional color! Your comment makes me sad.

  • Nate

    I read your blog on a regular basis and generally enjoy your banter about our neighborhood. That said, I find this entry particularly distasteful. Personal expression is what makes our neighborhood unique. It’s what makes any place unique. Poking fun at the way someone choses to paint their house, or the lawn ornaments they decide to display; it’s just, well, I don’t really see the value in it. Personally, the reason I enjoy your blog is because most of your entries highlight the eclectic amalgamation of people, architecture, and happenings in our hood. Your blog would put readers into a coma if you were writing about 2 square miles in the suburbs. Diversity is your bread and butter. You really missed the mark on this one broski.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Woah, major miscommunication. My whole point is that I love the house to the right and I think it is such a shame that an amazing house like that sits next to a boarded up a shell. I am a huge supporter of colorful houses. Sorry for the confusion.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Ah I see the post got corrupted and was a bit confusing. I hope it makes more sense now. The house on the right is amazing and the boarded up house on the left is the horse’s ass award nominee.

      • Thanks for the clarification – I love the house on the right with the trike sculpture and the orange door.

  • caballero

    I love the yellow house. I used to walk past it frequently. I don’t know why the house on the left isn’t for sale. Even if it’s a dump, that location is absolute gold. The shell alone could sell in the $400s.

  • This might help resolve this vacant house issue, and others across the city:

    Fenty proposing massive increase to District’s vacant property fee
    Washington Business Journal


    • http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2010/04/26/story1.html?b=1272254400 is why I love Fenty and the most of the old timers in DC just trying to suck money out of the new comers hate him.

      • Jamie

        You are a fool.

        In 2009, Fenty did away entirely with the 10% annual vacant tax rate, which now applies only to “blighted” buildings. The council has also proposed halving this rate to 5%.

        The “annual registration fee” proposal has far less teeth than the vacant property tax of 10% used to, and will dramatically reduce the cost each year to these bad property owners.

        A $250,000 property that used to be taxed at 10% would have cost the owner $25K per year in taxes. Now, unless it’s blighted, the new “registration fee” will cost him $5K per year plus the regular 1% tax, totaling less that $7,500.

        Yeah, that’s really a “massive increase” in cost. NOT.

        Why do you love Fenty again? Oh yeah, because you just buy everything he and The Post tell you without thinking about it.

        • Anonymous

          I think this reduction came because DCRA wasn’t doing their jobs properly and were taking homestead deductions away from people who lived in their houses, so that people like me would end up with a $64,000 property tax. Our councilmember was the only one who cold fix it.

          So my guess is that instead of forcing DCRA to do their job right, the council decided to lower the property tax so that either people like me wouldn’t notice and would just accidentally pay the vacant property taxes or because the council doesn’t want to waste time rectifying the errors.

          • Jamie

            The homestead vs. non-owner-occupied rate is a completely different issue than the vacant/blighted property rate.

            This change is because of political pressure from organizations with political power like the shiloh baptist church and developers that own and refuse to sell many neglected properties because they are speculating.

          • Jamie

            By the way this article shows just how easy it is for people to avoid the 10% tax rate now.

            Shiloh Baptist Church basically mowed the lawns and pulled a couple permits, which was good enough for DC to wave about $100,000 in taxes at the vacant rate.

            Of course nothing’s actually going on.

        • neener

          your comments do not match the news story you linked to- why?

  • ConsummateAries

    It seemed like they were doing some work on the property last year before I moved out of the ‘hood. Guess that hit a bump in the road. But talking about another MtP Horse’s Ass, the burned out apts on Mt Pleasant St have shown the slightest signs of improvement. And by slight, I mean fewer concrete buffers and scaffolds. Any update on those?

    • neener

      yeah, the bankrupt owner basically sold them to the tenant’s association and no bank will lend them the money- last I heard. Enjoy! It will be 10 years easy for those to get repaired.

  • ET

    It is just freaking stupid.

    An unoccupied house deteriorates (if it isn’t destroyed by squatters) and more subject to mold, etc. which likely makes it that much harder to sell (especially for the money the owner hopes to get). Bad business decision on their part to “just hold onto it” because you are waiting for the market to get better. If possible it seems better to rent it out while waiting for things to get better than let it sit fallow.

  • Matt

    I heard that there was a fire in the boarded up house (don’t remember when), which could make it even harder to sell (and impossible to rent out without major renovations) than squatters or mold. Not saying it should sit vacant, just explaining why it is.

  • DCster

    When I see it, it looks like pigeons are nesting on or inside the roof. A shame!

  • The AMT

    I love that block, and any part of Mt. P that makes me think “Gingerbread Houses.” If I were in any financial position to be buying, I’d likely snatch this place up in a heartbeat.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know the process for reporting “blighted” houses. We have one on our street that is a giant pigeon coop.

  • Anonymous

    That paint is horrible. It looks like a carnival exploded on it.

  • MJ

    Back in the Williams days, the district put in place a policy of increasing the vacant tax rate and also giving owners a set period of time to either rehab or sell the property or else forfeit it to the city.

    We should petition the city to order this property to be sold for rehab purposes.

  • RD

    The house on the left looks better than the one on the right.

  • mphs

    The Horse’s Ass award ought to go to 1636 Kenyon Street. That one didn’t have a fire, but it’s been vacant and waiting for the city to spend the money it promised for the last 8 years. No excuses.

  • Columbia Heights Boy

    I like the yellow house as well. As for the other one, who knows…there could be a number of financial, legal, personal reasons for not selling I guess…

  • John

    The house on the right and left are terrible. No one in their right mind would buy the shell on the left and invest money it to be living right next to that eyesore on the right! Tricycles! Is this one of those cases of nailing garbage to your house and calling it art? Yuck!

  • RD

    i love the fact that there aren’t HOA restrictions. i think you should be able to paint your house whatever the hell you want. doesn’t change the fact that that house is absolutely disgusting.

  • annony

    There was a fire in the house that’s boarded up. Scuttlebutt said the house recently sold for much more than market value, then there was a fire. Insurance fraud?

  • neener


    Do any of you know anything about houses?

    The house on the right is a Painted Lady which follows artistically and architecturally known and accepted color patterns for Victorian Houses: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painted_Ladies

    There is something seriously wrong with your education and you should be embarrassed.

  • pop-up owner

    It may be a painted lady, but it certainly is NOT a respectful painted lady.

    That painted lady looks like it would do unspeakable acts to you in the alley behind for the right sum of money.

  • am2o

    Based on a previous POP article (or was it DCIST?): I would say that the house on the left was boarded up by the DC Government.

    How long before it goes on tax sale?

  • klucassm

    I have been in the Painted Lady house many times, as a friend used to live in its basement apartment. It’s a well-maintained, well kept, lovely place. Sure, the paint job is a bit whacky, and the tricycles are not for everybody, but it’s not an eyesore. In person, it does not look like a detriment to the neighborhood–just an eccentric addition–mostly because it is clear that the owners truly care about the place and keep it up nicely. Plus, from there you can’t see that there is a beautiful garden out back. The place next door has been vacant as long as I’ve lived in Mt. P, and it’s definitely a shame. It needs some serious rehab and a lot of love.

  • soulshadow55

    I don’t have ANY issue with any color anyone wants to paint their home where they pay the mortgage. I wasn’t raised in the suburbs with the bland cookie-cutter homes that all look the same. I was raised right here in NW DC and I enjoy all the color, tikes, sculptures, gargoyles, etc. that anyone wants to put on their home. I don’t care if it’s pink poka-dot – bring it on. It’s your house, you should be able to paint it any color you want. Why does someone else or a committee get to tell you what color you can paint your house. Ridiculous!


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