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Massive Pop Up on K Street, NE

by Prince Of Petworth — March 31, 2014 at 4:00 pm 50 Comments


[email protected] tweets us:

“pop-up monster on k ne b/w 5th and 6th”

Ed. Note: Yikes.

  • GiantSquid

    Wow. That’s fuck-ugly.

    • gotryit

      +1 That’s actually the architectural style they’ll label this with if you read about in architecture books.

    • Anonymous


    • Anon

      Gotta agree it doesn’t look great in this photo. But I would like to see a photo from the front rather than the worst possible angle as posted above.

      • Anonymous

        Trust me, as someone who walks by it on a regular basis, it’s worst from the front. This photo does not do justice to just how hideous this pop up is in person. It’s so clunky and ugly. It’s also been under construction for almost 2 years, so they have taken their sweet time making it this ugly.

        • Anonymous

          Agree. I live on 6th St and thankfully cannot see it from my house, but I walk by it everyday when coming back from the metro. It’s horrendous and I feel awful for the people next door since it has been going on for so long and construction debris routinely spills onto the sidewalk and into their yards.

  • Anonymous

    They probably should’ve taken the money they spent on the pop-up and invested it back into the first two floors from the looks of the exterior. This is really sad.

    • rockcreekrunner

      I’d guess they’re going to paint the first two floors the same color as the top, so it won’t be quite as ugly when it’s done.

  • Anonymous

    No shame.

  • Anonymous

    I have no problems with pop-ups per se, but this looks ridiculous.

  • ick.

  • Anonymous

    My favorite part of this monstrosity is the continuation of the chimney. That’s a special kind of ugly right there.

  • JS

    I know we (rightly) rip on the developers who do this stuff, but who in their right mind would take a look at this building and think, “Yes, I’d like to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for the pleasure of living here.”

    • Anonymous

      Someone with two kids and is desperate for a 3BR place in the city.

      • JS

        But these things never turn out to be SFH’s – they’re always condos. You’re not getting any sort of beautiful Victorian architecture with a building like this and you’re more exposed financially due to the smaller number of units, so I struggle to see why someone would want to buy this.

        • Anonymous

          The days of insisting that you raise your kids in a SFH in DC are over. Affordable supply has already dried up in prime areas and parents will either need to turn to condos or move to less desirable location (hello, Anacostia!). I mean, condos are good enough for kids in NYC, right?
          Best bet is to buy a condo with significant private outdoor space. Those will be selling for premium in 5 to 10 years and will become the new “backyard” for kids. It’s really the only option, unless you’re making tons of money.

          • JS

            Should’ve clarified – these things almost always end up being 1 BR condos. You may start see some more 2 flat 3BR conversions – like the 1300 block of Meridian Pl currently has happening – but those seem to be the exceptions rather than the rule.

          • brookland_rez

            True on Anacostia. I was bored last weekend so for shits and giggles I went to an Anacostia open house. It was all young couples. Amazing.
            But Anacostia in the historic area and on the lettered streets is really nice. Good 1920’s/1930’s housing stock, mature trees, etc. MLK and Good Hope Rd have great vintage storefronts ripe for redevelopment.
            Metro is there, you can now hop on 12th St bridge and be on 295, or go over the bridge and be at Navy Yard.
            It’s such a great area, and it’s still affordable (for now). If I didn’t already have a place, I would seriously consider buying over there.

    • Anonymous

      People with money, no taste, and a massive disregard for the people around them. Some people don’t care, and/or prioritize other things.

      A more important question: how do you plans like this get approved?

      • textdoc

        +1 on “People with money, no taste, and a massive disregard for the people around them.”

      • Anonymous

        we’re pretty damn privileged here in dc to have such gorgeous housing stock.
        most people in the world live in uglier dwellings.

    • Anonymous

      People who assume that, in time, the whole block will pop up?

    • Harry

      Well, if you lived in there you wouldn’t have to look at it.

  • Jesse

    The house looks like it is going to broken out into four condos (1 per floor) and there is a rooftop deck. I take my son to the playground across the street and always wonder 1) what is all that space between the top window and the roof and 2) Why does this playground smell like weed.

    Either way…ugly…and the developers have taken forever working on it.

    • Anonymous

      I’d add: 3) And what were the architects who designed this smoking? (assuming that an architect was actually involved).

      • Anonymous

        definitely no architect involved. this is classic developer design/build.

    • NorthbyNE

      There isn’t actually that much interior space between the top window and the roof. There’s a roofdeck, so they’ve build up the parapet walls on all sides by 36″-48″ so they don’t have to have railings for the roofdeck.

      It makes sense, because if you’re going to live in this monstrosity you probably want high walls to keep out your torch and pitchfork wielding neighbors.

    • Anonymous

      Lol @ why does this playground always smell like weed- I hear you. I guess if you don’t go on a nice day when lots of parents are there, you don’t see the teenagers who hang out on the playground equipment and smoke.

  • Anonymous

    One of the worst Ive seen since V St NW

    • That Man A

      that is terrible

      who signs off on this stuff??
      like who in the city says its ok & how could the developer stamp their name on something this bad

      • Anonymous

        they get approved because they, at least on paper, meet the architectural codes (how they actually get built is a different question).

      • Anonymous

        There’s no “sign off” on aesthetics, unless you’re in a historic district. As the developer’s plans meet the codes for safety and the work itself later passes the inspection, you’re good to go.
        That’s why some people are clamoring for something for a new type of “historic-lite” district designation to be created by the City Council. This would give more flexibility than the typical rigid rules of a historic district that regulate every little detail, but also allow neighbors to provide input on major changes to an adjacent building and provide a basic level of review on aesthetics.

    • DM

      V Street isn’t nearly as bad. The scale on that one is silly, but at least they renovated the existing rowhouse so it looked more-or-less like a cohesive building. This is in a whole ‘nother galaxy of ugly.

      • dno

        I agree. This is worse than the V St pop up. Somehow that’s possible and this is the proof.

  • monkeydaddy

    In this picture, I see greed, stupidity, a lack of esthetics, and a lack of morals. Obviously the developers were looking for the cheapest possible renovation, for the biggest possible profit. But if they had built something less ugly, they probably could have brought a higher price, earned the same or almost-the-same return, and not have inflicted this eyesore on neighbors and the next generations of DC citizens. Either they don’t know better, they don’t care, or both.
    I am sure they are well within their rights, but that’s just a shame.

    • Anonymous

      The developer probably didn’t have the upfront capital to do the “high quality” renovation that you’re talking about. So they went for the most square footage they could get with the money they had.

    • Anonymous

      We’re talking about Taja Construction here. They have a terrible reputation for not giving a rat’s a$$ about the neighbors or the buyers and just slapping up something as cheap as possible to sell for as much as possible.

  • Truxton Thomas

    I don’t see what the big deal is with popOHMYGOD!

  • Mya

    How come this house is longer on the front than other, did they pop the front too? and how is this possible legal? when i think about the amount of stress I got from DCRA to get a permit to replace an existing deck that was falling apart and something like this is approved???

  • Anonymous

    if you look at this on street view, you can see that they tore out beautiful old masonry arches over the windows to replace them with these rectangular windows, no doubt to save the many dollars it would have cost to custom-order arched windows. at least we can be sure that the savings will be passed on to the grateful clergymen, employees of non-profits, union organizers, at-risk youth counselors, house painters, and other worthy middle class residents who will buy these.

  • Los

    A finger to the civilized people’s sensibilities. We should do a tale of the tape vs the V St. popup.

  • anon

    when was this done? is it possible that the facade will change? There is obviously no way anyone would ever think this looks good, so perhaps there is some additional work planned? I’m struggling so hard to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    • Anonymous

      I bought my house in the area 1.5 years ago. This has been under construction longer than that. I really doubt the facade will change any further other than painting it one color (I hope).

  • anon

    It is massively problematic that ruining a block like this is entirely legal (outside of areas designated “historic districts”). The value of surrounding houses just dropped 5%+. I’d never live within eyeshot of that monstrosity.

    • Anonymous

      I agree that it’s completely hideous, but with the Whole Foods coming a mere 2.5 blocks away from this location, I really doubt the immediate neighbor’s property value will drop at all.

  • Vered

    A raised fist. Fascist architecture.

    And those uuuhgleee windows, retreads from the 1980s office buildings on K St.

  • Anon

    Looks like they designed it using Minecraft. (those of you with kids will get this)

  • Zurga

    Absolutely hideous.
    What a display of utterly bad taste!

  • Anonymous

    thanks for the obligatory middle-finger-pop-up comment!

    vplus: a self-loathing H Streeter

  • Anon3

    Ugh – this is sooo ugly! This should be a crime….


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