Monday, December 20, 2010

Your Next Place

By Franklin Schneider

I remember walking past this house years ago, on my way to Adams Morgan, and seeing squatters lurking in the driveway. At one point, I'm pretty sure it didn't even have a front door. Now it's been exhaustively renovated and you can grab the penthouse unit (pictured) for just under $1.5 million. I'd buy it myself, but I'm poor.

The property is eye-catching even from afar, a hundred year old Victorian mansion with a circular driveway and grand entryway. Entering off 16th Street, you head up a winding staircase to the penthouse, encompassing the entire third level of the house. The place is open and bright, with beautiful blondish hardwood floors and exposed pitted brick. Those curved, wraparound windows face west onto 16th, and are right off an italian-style gourmet kitchen, outfitted with Miele and Bosch appliances that are more finely engineered than most cars. Even if you can't cook, you could store shoes in them or something. There's a gas fireplace in the living area, custom tiled baths, and the whole unit wired for ipods and surround sound. They've really thought of everything.

There are three bedrooms and two and a half baths, which are all quite nice, but the real draw here is the roof access. It's not the typical roof access where you have to climb up a shaky iron ladder bolted onto the side of a crumbling facade; the centerpiece of this unit is a floating staircase that leads up to a massive skylight that opens outward to allow you to walk right out onto a large roof deck. You can see almost all the way up to Meridian Hill Park from up there, and it would be a perfect place to relax on a warm evening, or to send your significant other when they're being annoying. (I'm sure I'd still be with my ex if we'd had a roof deck for "time out.") There's even a large glass firepit up there, for grilling and whatnot. I couldn't help but imagine myself living there, looking sympathetically down on passersby from my roof, nearly all of whom would no doubt live in inferior properties. "Do you have a glass firepit in your roof garden?" I would shout down with just a touch of smugness. I would probably do this semi-regularly until someone called the police on me.

1841 16th Street NW #4
Washington, DC
3 Bdrms, 2.1 Baths



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