Monday, July 20, 2009

Wardman house in danger

Originally uploaded by In Shaw
The blue house. Well both houses, are Wardman houses. I looked and found proof. In October 22, 1902 the then Harry Wardman received approval for permit number #756 from the city to build 1721 4th St NW. Permit # 757 was for 1709-1719 4th Streets, NW.
Fast forward to 2001-2002 and Behzad Hosseinkhani buys the place $110K. In 2008 the house went on the market with very little (no) improvement for $368,000. Apparently didn't sell. Also in it seems the city seemed to figure out the place was vacant and began charging at that rate (Sq. 519 lot 54 PDF). That winter, the owner began digging out a basement and gutting the place.
This month on the 28th the owner is going to the BZA to throw a 3rd, 4th if you count the brand new basement, floor. Something I previously mentioned. Now a HD won't help because a) there isn't any time for it, and b) I'd fight it. Besides I don't care what door, or windows the owner puts in, nor do I care about the fencing or if he replaces the slate tiles with something picked up at Home Depot. You can undo windows and doors by swtiching them out. Removing a floor that was an utter mistake, much, much harder.
What I do care about is overcrowding. Unlike the white and pink house, which has a scant backyard, with theoretical parking, 1721 has no backyard. The pink house already (note electrical meter) 3 units, and that must be crowded enough.
The other thing I care about is having another failed project sitting around. Wander over to the pop up on the 1500 block of 3rd Street. Has anyone ever lived in that thing post-pop? And the piece of crap on the 300 block of P Street, across from the billboards. A project the developers made so complicated and threw on an extra floor (complicating it further) that it was doomed without some sucker willing to keep throwing money into it. These are two failed developer driven projects.


At 7/21/2009 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/21/2009 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7/21/2009 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The zoning write initiative * could * help with the issue of pop-ups, if neighborhood-specific zoning regulations were fabricated that address pop-ups.

But I would agree that the zoning rewrite is too far off to address any current pop-ups.

In general, the * only * remedy available in the District of Columbia to combat pop-ups is neighborhood historic designation.

So if you are not a fan of neighborhood historic designation, they you will have to live with pop-ups.

That about sums it up!

-- Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale.

At 7/21/2009 7:29 PM, Blogger Mari said...

Egad. If I don't monitor this thing people get all crazy with their anonymous comments. Which have been deleted.
Also I remember when someone said mind you own business when it came to the drug dealers, the domestic assaults in the streets, and all other sorts of things.
It looks as if FAR (Floor Area Ratio) may save it from a pop-up in this case. And also rules on how much of the land can be used up, and he's already maxed out.
Lastly, I love history but I hate to see it prostituted like a $5 hooker for other purposes. And that's how I see historic districting, some Disney-fied, scrubbed bordering on false narrative that is all about looks and the actual history of the place is secondary. So that's why I avoid it, it just offends me on principle. If I have to tolerate a pop-up to avoid it I will. If I can fight it, I will, and if I have to move, well I'd do that too. Maybe somewhere where I can have chickens.

At 7/22/2009 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe if the H street corridor gets it's Historic designation, we can have horse drawn trolleys like in the old days. That should solve the "power" problems since the National Capital Planning Commission says we can't have overhead wires because of the Le Enfant plan. What do you think?

I think that you right, folks don't really want historic, they want Disney Land.

At 7/22/2009 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oppps, sorry that last post was by Esse.

At 7/24/2009 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I attended the end of this past Tuesday's ANC 5C meeting at St. George's. The commission voted on a zoning variance for a pop-up at 1721 4th St NW.

Here is the write-up from Edgewood resident Michael Henderson's meeting notes:

BZA Case # 17934 – 4th story addition to 1721 4th street NW; variance requested to add a 3rd story addition; will keep façade as it is; Commissioner Bonds asked if pitched roof would remain – yes; currently is a vacant property; building is being gutted at pre-sent; Commissioner Bonds said it is a beautiful structure; will be 40 feet from grade to ceiling; is an English Basement with three levels; Commissioner Bonds moved to sup-port the proposed renovation with the proviso that the pitched roof remain; Commis-sioner Daneker 2nd; motion passed one abstention (Commissioner Wright); hearing is 28th of July.

So our ANC voted to * support * a pop-up.

-- Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale


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