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GDoN Revisited by Hipchickindc – 4026 Arkansas Ave NW

by Prince Of Petworth — December 9, 2011 at 11:00 am 12 Comments

Hipchickindc is a licensed real estate broker. Her latest business venture can be seen here. Unless specifically noted, neither she nor the company that she is affiliated with represented any of the parties or were directly involved in the transaction reported below. Unless otherwise noted, the source of information is Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS), which is the local multiple listing system. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Featured Property: 4026 Arkansas Ave NW
Legal Subdivision: Columbia Heights
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: Columbia Heights
Original List Price: $439,000.
List Price at Contract: $439,000.
List Date: 10/05/2011
Days on Market: 6
Settlement Date: 11/16/2011
Settled Sales Price: $464,000.
Seller Subsidy: $15,000.
Bank Owned?: No Short Sale? No
Type Of Financing: Conventional
Original GDoN post is: here.
The listing can be seen: here. To see the photos, after opening the listing link, scroll through the arrows on the main pic. There is also a virtual tour, which can be seen here.

It’s quite common to see the name of prolific late 19th/early 20th century developer Harry Wardman attached to real estate listings (often incorrectly, I might add). For whatever reason, the names of other, similarly prolific developers and architects are not as familiar. Clearly, the District of Columbia has seen decades of housing booms, each bringing particular styles, which contribute to the character of entire neighborhoods.

Continues after the jump.

The homes on the 4000 and 4100 blocks of Arkansas Ave NW were designed by architect Joseph H. Abel and per public records (not always accurate) were built between 1941-1950. Abel designed a few well known blocks of houses but is mostly known for his “International Style” apartment buildings, many of which are now condos and co-ops currently. His work is well represented in the James M. Goode classic Best Addresses.

While the aesthetic is perhaps not appealing to all (such as the commenter to the original Good Deal or Not post who asked, “What posessed [sic] builders to construct crap like this? Ideally this whole strip would be razed”), this home found a buyer within a week of going on the market. This is only the second property to be listed on either of these blocks since the beginning of 2010.

These homes tend to be in the range of 1200-1400 square feet, with a couple closer to 2000 square feet. The majority of lots on odd side of the blocks are on the smallish side (in the range of 1350 square feet), while the even side boasts mostly large 2160 square foot lots (large compared to DC row houses further downtown, but typical in neighborhoods in the northern part of the city).

  • victoria

    I would love to see what the new owners do with the place. How about a new feature PoP?

  • Sir Douchy

    “While the aesthetic is perhaps not appealing to all” – hmm, I think the reality is that the aesthetic is perhaps not appealing to most people. It really is an unattractive house, however it’s worth what it’s worth. If someone is willing to pay $464k then that’s what it’s worth not matter how much many of us think they overpaid (dang did they overpay, wow nelly, they must be in a world of hurt right now, we’re talking more buyer’s remorse than a Madoff investor), and you have to be willing to respect their decision.

  • Anonymous

    This row would look beautiful today if it had been left well enough alone. But instead, almost every unit has been bastardized with paint, historically-inaccurate window replacements, enclosed front porches, and God-knows-what done to the interiors. I can only imagine that this neighborhood must have fallen on hard times between the construction of this row and today.

    I would love to live in one of these, if one of the few houses that haven’t been too terribly abused by renovations over the years ever went on the market.

  • JP

    As the owner of one of these houses, I get that they are an acquired taste, but at least for me, they’re beautiful houses. Light filled, open, innovative (they still feel modern 70 years on) and unique in a city filled with Federal and Victorian (and Federal and Victorian knockoffs). Add to that, a friendly, diverse group of neighbors, close in to both downtown and VA and MD burbs…the mid $400,000s is a steal.

  • andy

    I think the interior spaces are nicer than the exteriors. I’m happy to have a Wardman-style rowhouse rather than one of this style.

  • Maire

    I’m surprised that’s considered Columbia Heights (not trying to start an argument!) It just seems kind of far north.

    • andy

      I think most documents say Upshur is the dividing line, but many people are fuzzy about it once you get above Spring Road.

      • Tim

        That’s odd that points north of Spring Road would have any legal identity as “Columbia Heights”. Since Spring Road is the ward boundary and the street grid geography is quite different on each side of it, I’ve always seen Spring Road as one of the clearest neighborhood borders around.

  • househistoryman

    These were built beginning in June of 1941 by J. B. Tiffey and were indeed designed by architect Joseph Abel.

    • househistoryman

      Fun to think, too, that all nine houses were built for just $81,000!

  • pmh

    We looked at one of these when we were house-hunting, and they are quite nice-feeling inside. And right across from the park, so the front view is tree-filled and feels a little tree-house-ish. Can’t say I love them from the street, but…I think the price is fine.

  • crin

    http:[email protected]/5781548008/sizes/l/in/photostream/

    When these were built in 1941 they were chosen as Evening Star show homes. Their construction was featured in the Evening Star. The first completed model was decorated by the downtown department stores and featured in more Evening Star articles. Every year the Evening Star ran this series on a different new development.

    This was the last collaboration between Abel and Tiffey. Abel was born and rasied in DC and very progressive. He had a desegregated drafting room. Tiffey was a good old boy. During this project, Tiffey visited Abel’s drafting room for the first time. When Tiffey saw whites and blacks working together, he had words and threats for Abel. Abel told him where he could go. They never worked together again.

    This came from a couple of interviews I conducted for grad school. I interviewed some mid-century architects who started as draftsmen and were working for Abel at the time of this project.


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