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“It was fun to watch the Destroyer at work.”

by Prince Of Petworth April 28, 2017 at 1:45 pm 16 Comments


A reader reports:

“They are tearing down the old rowhouse office building at 19th and N St NW in Dupont Circle. I’m amazed this building lasted as long as it did. The building’s brick work was still in really good shape, but I guess the land and developable air value was just too great to pass up.

It was fun to watch the Destroyer at work. The kids who were walking by or in their strollers were loving it!”

old zenebech

And thanks to The Family Meal‏ for sharing the demo at the old Zenebech space (and neighbors) near the Howard Theatre in Shaw.

Standby for a new 7 story building coming here.

  • Brian

    This makes me sad.

  • John B.
    • Anonymous

      Yes, it was.

  • freitag

    That’s a bummer. Tuesday’s post about the new-old house in Ledroit makes me think we could consider historic buildings marooned among office buildings a bit more like wetlands. Build something ‘authentically’ historic somewhere else in exchange for razing this one. E.g. replace a building lost in the 68 riots from historic photos or drawings.


  • BW

    What a shame. I wish our city valued historic properties more than they do. This charming building with character and history was level to make way for yet another soulless office building. This city has no character or authenticity.

    • iwdc

      +1 And they are also demolishing the old house (that used to house Eli’s Deli) one block from this at 20th and N.

    • FoggyBottom

      I’m not sure I understand this comment at all. DC has more than 18% of its properties listed and protected as historic. Compare that to Boston (under 5%), Philadelphia (just over 2%), NYC (3%). If anything, we protect too much. Consider the delayed Georgetown Heating Plant project or the fight over the gas station in Dupont. Perhaps you just don’t like all the new glass office buildings. I don’t personally. If DC has no character than any city west of the Mississippi really doesn’t either.

      • FoggyBottom

        Side note, I always thought that building was a nice oasis between the ugliness of post WWII construction.

      • textdoc

        18%? Really? That surprises me, considering how many neighborhoods have no historic districts whatsoever.
        Just become other cities have even less protection for historic properties doesn’t mean that ours is excessive. D.C. has a lot of beautiful historic architecture, and it’s a shame that only some of it is protected.
        It’s also a shame that currently the only means of protecting historic architecture in D.C. is via historic-district or historic-landmark status. There really ought to be an in-between, less-onerous designation that would require HPRB approval only for major structural changes (like additions, pop-ups, porch enclosures, etc.) — not for things like windows and doors.

        • FoggyBottom

          I tried to find a breakdown of that 18% figure, but to no avail. I assume that given the size of the historic districts of Georgetown/Dupont/Capitol Hill, areas that likely skew that figure a bit.

          I actually agree with your sentiment about protection. I do not want DC to become another Seattle or Denver, both fine cities for sure, but lack history. Given density concerns in DC, how to manage development, especially in the central core, seems to be a difficult task. Outside the core, I think many people would not mind a historic status placed on their town-home etc, if it didn’t come with so many building hassles.

    • John

      I walked past this building daily for years and I never thought that it was particularly charming or had great character…more than anything I thought it was bizarre that a few row house offices still existed in that location. It makes no sense for those buildings to be in such prime real estate, a big office building or condos are a much better use of the space.

  • maxwell smart

    I tried to link to an article… anyway, it sounds like the entire block might be on the chopping block to make way for a new, you guessed it, glass box office building.

  • west_egg

    Sad, truly.


    Why didn’t they knock down that hideous building behind it (or any handful of architecturally sad buildings nearby) instead of this structure (I know why, but still…)

    • WB

      It seems like the are also knocking down the building behind it in the picture – 1920 N St, based on other stories.


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