1929 11th Street, NW – Historic U Street Corridor
2 Bedrooms & 2 Baths | 1/2 block from the U Street Metro, Eateries, Capital Bike Share
Literally the ugliest house on the block. 1929 11 th Street looked more like a little considered crumbling storage pod than a home. Yet it was home to a family of 4 who were living in conditions that were far from safe. When touring the house I feared I might fall through the kitchen floor, it was so severely sloped, and my heart broke when I walked gingerly through the kitchen and saw cartoon characters posted to a small rear bedroom wall. It meant children lived here- this place was not safe at all.
It took several months to negotiate the sale, get to closing and allow the family time to find a suitable new home. Once we took ownership we immediately began to demolish the interior and found the construction of the house was literally hanging together by sheer grace. The original structure (the first 2/3 of the house) were built prior 1890’s and the construction method used was called balloon framing. We called in an Engineer who quickly confirmed this construction method was no longer viable and should be completely removed. The house is located in a prime a Historic Preservation overlay, and thus we needed Historic Preservation to approve our construction plans. Initially they baulked, they wanted us to keep the balloon construction! But thankfully logic and safety prevailed and they capitulated.
Historic Preservation eventually approved the gutting of the property, and they also reviewed and approved all the exterior improvements. We needed to work sparingly with the exterior of this home in the historic designated area, so unfortunately we could not add ornate details or a porch, which I think the house could have benefitted from. In the end, we were able to create two 900 square foot condominiums with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. There are interesting outdoor spaces, and a wonderfully light & airy design. These condominium units are steps to U Street Metro station, and only a few blocks from Harris Teeter, the new Whole Foods coming to 9th Street and tons of restaurants, cafes and shops. Perhaps due to their ideal location, and certainly due to their cool interiors, the units each sold in less than 7 days! The new owners will undoubtedly be fantastic stewards to this +126 year old property!