Sunday, November 4, 2007

one of my favorite houses



ok, here's one that's far outside of bloomingdale, but i biked past it this afternoon and just had to take a few pictures to share. this house is on the southwest corner of R and 15th NW, and the color details are just amazing. i didn't get a good shot of it, but the retaining wall is even color-coordinated with the house! look at the railing over the garage...they've even put a little life into that too. amazing colors.

31 comments:

Mari said...

Funny, I know people who've pointed the house out as an abomination because of the paint job.

Anonymous said...

I used to walk by it daily and found it quite ugly although your photos make it look better as it hides a lot of the purple retaining wall.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with the others, I think the community should be going for more of a georgetown look than an adams morgan look. I like the natural brick opposed to the neon eyesore.

14th & You said...

I live within a couple of blocks of this house. I do like the detail work in the painting as well as the fact that the owner cared enough to put that kind of effort in. Yet, it's really really bright. I don't hate it, but I don't like it either. All the same, I'm glad that most DC residents have the freedom to do what they will with home colors and landscaping. For better or for worse, it beats suburban homeowners associations.

Scenic Artisan said...

i think that someone gave a damn and put some work and individuality into their home is admirable.

IMGoph said...

i could do a whole photo series of houses here in bloomingdale that have done this kind of paint work (granted, with more subdued colors). i love the attention to detail, and i think it gives our neighborhoods even more character, which is always, always a good thing.

otherwise, really, a string of rowhouses that all look exactly the same isn't really much different from a bunch of houses in a suburban-hell development that all look alike. of course, ours aren't all swathed in vinyl siding....

dcavocado said...

I like it, I think it's quite lovely and charming. I agree, I wouldn't want a row of rowhouses that looked the same, bring on the color!

si said...

that is a happy house.

Mike said...

I like it alot too. I use to live 4 blocks from it. Now I live at 1st and r NE. Any idea on what colors would go good with light yellow house.

Anonymous said...

But what about home owners who give a damn and have the exterior of their homes restored ? Do they get any street cred for cleaning 100 years of grime out of the brick, repointing the brick using historically accurate colors and methods, and removing paint which arguably does not age well? No, no credit for that because it will make all our homes "look the same", right?

Well, walk down any street in Bloomingdale and take the time to see what you are looking at. There is a wide variety of design and color in the original Victorian design. Hand-made bricks vary widely in color, as do natural limestone mortars, and naturally-colored bownstones are absolutely gorgeous and require no paint to remain that way.

Paint on a 100+ year old home? Blech.

Anonymous said...

You took these pictures in November, right?

The car's plates expired in October.

(sarcasm on) What a rare occurance; a car with expired out-of-state tags parked or moving through DC. You never see that anymore.... (sarcasm off)

dcavocado said...

I don't think anyone is saying that. The point is there is room for colorful houses and those that want to maintain or restore the original look. It is possible to appreciate both at the same time.

CitySlurp said...

lol, some people like myself dont like brick as is,Color is good. and not everyone has the money to do historically accurate colors and methods.

Anonymous said...

"not everyone has the money to do historically accurate colors and methods."

LOL!

Not everyone has the money for paint, brushes, and a ladder rental either. Heck, lots of people can't afford to have a leaky roof repaired. So it all depends upon your perspective.

Anonymous said...

Neighborhoods go through cycles. They decline and rise. People paint their 100+ year old brick during those cycles.

Before

The absence of paint where it previously existed generally is a good indicator of the direction of the neighborhood.

After

CitySlurp said...

lol, everywhere in DC there are painted homes, everywhere. not just in the good "area". and whats the deal with people and being anonymous.

IMGoph said...

i'm definitely going to have to do a running feature of painted houses that i like. glad to see that people feel strongly about this in more than one way. i hear the commenter who says that bare brick is beautiful too (no argument here), but i appreciate the creativity in a good paint job.

and cityslurp, i hear you. would it be so hard to register if you're going to leave comments? being able to refer to someone by name (we're all friends here, right?) would be nice.

Chazu said...

Refer to someone by name? A name like "imgoph" or "cityslurp"? How does "chazu" strike you?

Paint is a common low-budget way to cover up problems. That is a fact of homeownership and home maintenance. Yes, it can look OK if done properly - but that doesn't change the underlying problems it was meant to cover up.

These homes were built long before "weatherproof" materials were invented - long before Tyvek, vinyl siding, or even... paint as we know it today.

Does that mean the builders didn't know what they were doing? No, quite the opposite. They knew exactly what they were doing, which is why the external layers of brick on the front of our homes were designed (mixed, fired, cured and hand-placed, and NOT painted) to absorb and release moisture. They had no other way to deal with moisture, so they absorbed it in multiple rows of bricks to be evaporated later. The net result is that the interior living spaces stay dry. The problems start when you apply paint, and it traps moisture in the walls.

Slapping paint on Victorian-era brick is a bad thing. If its been on a home for a decades, I can see leaving it there and maintaining it - it is part of the character of the house. If someone buys a bare brick house today and paints it tomorrow; Egad!

There is a home in Shaw painted a "lovely" shade of gloss black. (Q St. or R St.?) Classic example of a bad idea brought to life.

Mr. Richardson said...

To the person who posted the message at Wednesday, November 7, 2007 5:16:00 PM EST anonymously, showing the before and after pictures of their home. I was wondering what you used to strip the paint, it looks like you did a great job, and I was getting ready to strip the paint off of my house.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I hired the company that is hosting the Before and After photos. (pointingplus.com)

They had big sheets of adhesive material which they stuck to the painted surface. So the house was basically 'wallpapered' with the stuff for about two days. Then they pulled the material off the house, and hosed the house down with water.

They did a good job at containing the water run-off, and they had to do some spot removal of the paint after the bulk of it was removed by the material. If you could find that material, you could definiately do it yourself. Just be sure to control the water run-off. (don't let it get all over your neighbors property, or let it run over the public sidewalks, etc.) Sorry, but I don't recall the name of the stuff.

Anonymous said...

Paintless brick...

" listing a beautifully restored victorian corner house today, 143 U Street NW. The house has all of its original beauty and details brought back to their original glory as well as amazing high end updating of the house.

To see pictures, go
Here

CitySlurp said...

Or maybe someone painted their house cause they wanted to to paint their house not cause there is a problem with it.

CitySlurp said...

And the one thing that makes dc different from most citys are the painted homes.

Anonymous said...

"And the one thing that makes dc different from most citys are the painted homes."

Yep, paint is the ONE differentiator between DC and NYC, DC and Boston, DC and Philly, etc. Goodness knows that we wouldn't want Ledroit Park to look like Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

"Or maybe someone painted their house cause they wanted to to paint their house not cause there is a problem with it."

A 100+ year old brick home that has received no maintenance in a century requires work, period. To most, it seems that "work" equates to "paint".

IMGoph said...

anonymous....

either give us at least a screen name to reply to you, or give it up, please.

we know no one is going to change your mind. you hate painted brick. got it. no need to carry on.

CitySlurp said...

he is just going agaist the crowd. what better way to be heard then going agaist something most people do.

Mr. Richardson said...

One of my post's was done anonymously, so it is more than just one person who thinks natural brick is the way to go.
I also don’t necessarily understand why you need their name.

dcavocado said...

Does there have to be just one way to go? If it looks like a lot of care went into the place, whether in restoring brick or painting in details and both look great, I just don't see the point in trying to get people to think one is better than the other.

mr. richardson said...

I guess my point is that someone’s credibility shouldn’t be taken away just because they posted anonymously, which is what chazu was saying in his/her/it’s post. Just because you have a “handle” doesn’t mean we know who you are any better, you are still anonymous, with just as much credibility as the next person.
As far as there only being “one way to go” I do believe that everyone should go with natural brick, that is my personal opinion, and I think chazu gave good reasoning for that. I think that some houses with light colors look alright, but I think the florescent colors need to stay in Adams Morgan. Obviously this is something that we aren’t all going to agree upon, but again, chazu was the only person to give reasoning for either side.
Overall, I guess I can’t appreciate both painted and natural brick, because with heavily painted houses, I feel like someone is willing to compromise the neighborhoods property value in order to get attention.
Ps. I do like this discussion though and I hope people don’t feel like they are being attacked, nor should anyone specifically attack anyone else for their opinion, anonymous or not.

CitySlurp said...

Do what you want with your house is my last comment on this. Its your house and no one else's.