Friday, May 15, 2009

more old houses lost

i've written about my distaste for tearing down houses before, and i really hate to see us losing traditional row houses. the area in the triangle between new york avenue, florida avenue, and north capitol street (on the east side of north capitol) used to be full of them, but one by one, they get torn down, and the city loses some of its history.

sure, these houses probably weren't worthy of capital losses, but they still could have been fixed up.

there has been a lot of discussion about demolition on the eckington listserv, where some neighborhood residents were thrilled about the recent demolition of an old house. i was opposed to the demolition. i understand the this specific house was probably beyond saving (though it wouldn't have to have been that way if the city had just enforced the law and made the owner take care of the house before it reached this state). but it sets a terrible precedent, especially in the mind. i fear that people just think vacant=tear it down when it comes to a lot of our old buildings.

anyway, here are some pictures of row houses on the unit blocks of florida avenue and p street NE being town down. i spoke with one of the men on the destruction crew (can't call it construction, can you?) and asked if they were recycling the bricks. he said no, they would simply use them as fill for the hole in the ground that would remain. i told him that people would be willing to pay for nice old bricks like that to be recycled, and he seemed interested, but it was too late for much of that.

i asked what was coming to this space, and he said an apartment building.

when i asked if it would be as ugly as the place next door, he told me he hadn't seen any plans...


JohnDC said...

Are they also taking down that yellow auto lot? If so I think it's a net gain. While I agree I wish they'd keep the old houses I've walked by that dilapidated string of houses for years and am glad at least something is being done with them.

Hopefully it won't be done horribly like the pop-up.

The Dunbar is starting demo of the buildings on North Capitol. It's fenced off and I heard work being done on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Now if only the city or perhaps the fed government would just block auto access to DC from PG county, this area will become much more tranquil and inviting.

Anonymous said...

Those nice thin, brown, Roman bricks are rare and hard to get. They would have turned a nice profit to the person who knew what they were doing.

Anonymous said...

would someone who actually knew what they were doing tear those houses down?

Anonymous said...

This was no accident. It's called Demolition by Neglect and has the tacit support of Mayor Fenty. If your neighborhood is not in a historic district you are under threat of becoming a cheesy Fairfax county replica. These building could have been beautiful contributing structures but the greed got to them first.

Alex said...

I'm sure they'll be building "lofts" there, exposed concrete and all.

David said...

Thanks for the useful info. I retired these address from DC Government's Master Address Repository. The addresses of the demolished buildigs are:

27 Florida Avenue NE
22 P Street NE
24 P Street NE