Re-Judging New Buildings – 600 Block of M St, NW

by Prince Of Petworth May 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm 37 Comments

“Dear PoP,

Looks like someone got new windows! What is this building? Its beautiful.”

We took an early look at this building a couple of weeks ago and learned that:

“It’s all residential, developed by the United House of Prayer.”

Do you like the multicolored panels?

  • Anonymous

    Ugh, I can’t stand it. These types of buildings are ruining DC! Need more stately Dupont and Logan Circle-esque architecture. This isn’t Scandanavia!

    • Anonymous

      I agree that this building is vomit, but c’mon, you are being a little dramatic. This building is so far and away the worst thing I’ve ever seen in DC that I don’t think it is fair to even act as though other buildings are even in the same category of terrible-ness. I know it is low income, but seriously, have some respect for the poor.

  • caballero

    I don’t think I like this at all.

  • Bloomingdude

    This building is faux-modern cheap and will age terribly. If giants kept people in guinea pig-type cages, I imagine they’d look like this building.

    Let us be united in praying it goes away.

    • Anonymous


    • anon

      Exactly. What’s up with all the “colored panel” construction in this town? Looks like crap now, and will only get worse as the newness wears off. (Yes, I’m talking about you, Floridian.) I can’t image apartments in these eyesores will hold their value.

      • Anonymous

        See, I like the Floridian. I get it’s not everyone’s taste, but it doesn’t look cheap to me. At least it looks like it was well designed and not totally cookie cutter like a lot of others in town. This truly looks cheap – not only the materials but on the design side.

    • McSalterson

      good post.

  • Ridge Street

    This building looks awful in person and will age horribly. Probably won’t last 20 years and then will be torn down to build something else. Sad waste!

  • MVS

    I pass it every day, and I think it looks awful. It doesn’t play well with any of the other neighborhood architectural styles — not even the adjacent church. I can appreciate that they tried to add a playful, modern touch with the colored panels, but it just looks cheap. A big sad thumbs down.

  • MichelleRD

    Fug-lee. Looks like Legos

    • J

      my first thoughts exactly. you beat me to the comment. Well played, ma’am.

  • JTE

    Ugly. Reminds me of the St. Colletta’s buildings just south of the Independence Avenue entrance to the Stadium Armory metro, but worse.

  • Anonymous

    not a fan. looked like the original gold paneling was done to conform with the nearby church dome. now, it looks like a lego set. also, feels like occupants of lower levels will have their blinds drawn at all times… lots of windows are generally a good thing in an apartment, but maybe not in that area (i.e, not really in a neighborhood).

    • TeLLurMomISdHi

      Let’s see…several houses, places to eat, a place of worship, a metro station, a fire station, MULTIPLE apartment buildings and condominiums. I’d say that qualifies as a neighborhood. Get over yourself.

    • 5thandM

      How is this area not a neighborhood? I agree with TeLLurMomISdHi, you are way off base. Plus, The Passenger and the adjacent bars are a block or two away. What are you talking about?

      This building looked much better without the color panels.

  • Anon


  • aa

    Hideous. A swing and a miss.

  • anonymous

    My husband and I went by this other day and asked ourselves why they wanted to crash property value increases. What a travesty!

  • Anonymous

    i bet the person that designed this think they are being wild by putting hazelnut syrup in their coffee.

    anyone that draws inspiration from mondrian is far to stiff for their own good.

    this building is as bad as the concrete bunkers of the 1970’s.

    i bet the designer is not able to dance to any music more recent than 1958.
    not that he would want to.

    it looks like it was the first attempt at a design in some advanced 5th grade class.

    the use of all 3 primary colors is for children. no adult, nor anything in the public spectrum outside of playground equipment should employ red, blue and yellow at the same time.

    i would rather live across the street from that pop up on the unit block of p street than across from this building.

    bad architecture is bad for your soul.

  • bloom

    Affordable, those of modest incomes can live here, light coming in, elderly can make it down the four stories in an emergency, close to downtown and their community church, good for local elderly residents… the band seems to offer some culture. That’s what I see.

    If only we could get our longtime elderly African American residents into the J P Hoffman buildings! Then we wouldn’t read rants about such cheap construction.

    • Anonymous

      you’ve confused your senses with your intellect.

      • bloom

        Why do you have to say such a mean thing? Really. You’ve confused your senses with your intellect.

        I am totally fine with what I said, my senses, my intellect. If you don’t see the value in it, so be it. Say something about the comment, or the building, but not me. SNARKY! I swear.

        I think the construction might be cheap, but what can you say, maybe that was the best they could do. Why denigrate those who are poorer?

        • Anonymous

          it’s not mean, it’s accurate. the things you said you see are not seeable things.
          don’t be so negative.

          you’ve carried more baggage to the statement that was there. i said nothing about the poor.

          just that what you observe through your sense is different than how your intellect processes that.

  • TeLLurMomISdHi

    Before I even read the comments, I knew there would be a “popular” vote against the design of this building. Not because the building itself is particularly displeasing to the eye, but because of where it is and who will inhabit it.
    The color scheme of this building is no different than the so called “modern architecture” that I see springing up everywhere in our newly “gentrified” city.
    I think the real issue here is, your sudden fear that the disenfranchised have another foothold where you were confident they wouldn’t. Get over yourselves.

    • Anonymous

      idiot. put down your agenda before you pick up other peoples thoughts.

      this building is ass ugly.

  • anonymous

    Bravo for UHOP! Unity and development are both keys for a stronger community.

  • anonymous

    DC = Sophiatown

  • Emmaleigh504

    Ugly. It’s almost something I would really like, but just looks cheap and ugly.

  • Jay

    TUHOPFAP churches are known for their colorful adornments; not sure there is some significance to the specific colors but I’m guessing they must mean something.

    I am just glad that building is more airy, light and “urban” than the dark garden style hell holes in and around Shaw.

    • Lisa

      Mmmmmm, I’m thinking you’re over analyzing it a bit much. I truly think it’s just randomly placed color panels.

  • Chrissie

    The building was fine until… those horrendous colored panels came out. They make the building look like 1970’s social housing. Shame on the architect for putting a box of legos in a neighborhood that is trying to lift itself up.

  • Q-Street

    Man, churches really need to get out of the real estate business in this town.

  • j

    thought this was the new NPR building for a minute

  • Lisa

    Looks like a nursery school. Another tax-free investment for United House of Prayer I suspect. What are they up to 3 blocks of tax free this and thats now?

    They’re blessed.

  • Maha

    This building is ugly… but I must agree it is better than the housing projects that wall in 7th street like a fort. Also copying Dupont and Logan-esque architecture is a cheap cop out that can no longer be created there are no more artisans that are great brick masons and terracotta artist. You could make it but either it would be far too expensive to justify or it would be a cheap factory fabrication. The true pre war row house will never house hundreds of people. It’s not relevant but with that, neither is this building.

  • Marshall

    Give it a chance – geez. I don’t see how you don’t smile when you look at this building. It is so much fun. And, if you had any understanding of building materiality, you would know this isn’t a cheap building at all. The level of self-righteousness in this blog thread is amazing. A city naturally grows and changes and it’s buildings should do the same. Maybe it’s not your style but it is a solid well-designed building that I would bet will stand the test of time.


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