City Paper Widget

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

2031 11th Street: One of the Oldest Houses in the Neighborhood Gets a Renovation

The owner of 2031 11th Street NW says parts of his home date from 1857, although on-line information says the house was built in 1890. In support of the 1857 claim, the homeowner showed the Design Review Committee of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 1B/U Street a copy of a yellowing section of a 19th-century map. The maps shows the area between 7th and 16th Streets, and R Street and Florida Avenue.
2031 11th Street last week

A lonely black dot sits in a sea of undeveloped grid squares. This, the homeowner said, is his home.

This house is wood-framed. The homeowner was not able to find another wood-framed house of this age in the neighborhood.

The homeowner said he had bought the house in 2010. It was in "catastrophic condition", he said. Some of the 150-year-old wood was "completely rotted out". He has spent time since improving the interior of the house.

The homeowner now wants to renovate the facade and is starting the slog through the historical preservation process to get the necessary permissions. The house is located within the U Street Historic District, so the homeowner will first need to get approval from DC's Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB). He came before the Design Review committee on September 15th to get ANC endorsement of the general idea for the renovation, which he needs before he goes to HPRB.

The homeowner said he has already been in discussion with HPRB. He would like to replace the current facade (see photo) and restore the wood frame. Perhaps the new facade might be stucco. The homeowner thought maintaining the bay window might be a good idea.

"I'd like a porch," he said.

A member of the Design Review Committee said that a porch was not appropriate for the house and he would not support it. Further, he said, HPRB would not support it.

The homeowner said he had talked to a neighbor in an abutting row house. The neighbor has no objections.

"He's a very easy-to-get-along-with guy," the homeowner said.

The Design Review Committee voted unanimously (one abstention) to support most of the concept of the renovation, including the bay window, but not the porch.

The homeowner a few days later said he had been in touch with HPRB. The person he talked to there said there would be no objection to a porch.

The renovation of 2031 11th Street will probably be considered by the full ANC at its next meeting, scheduled for Thursday, October 2, at the Reeves Center (14th and U Street NW).

According to on-line information, 2031 11th Street was sold in December 2010 for $560,000.

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