The Best Live-Work Space: A Loft in Truxton Circle

by Lark Turner


UrbanTurf usually stays away from publishing rankings or lists…except at the end of the year when we look back at all DC’s residential real estate scene had to offer during the previous 12 months. So, this week, we are looking at not only the best, but the most intriguing and peculiar things that came across our radar over the course of the past year.

Lisa Marie Thalhammer moved into an artist studio at 52 O Street (map) in 2005, when Truxton Circle was a little different than it is now. But as the neighborhood changed, Thalhammer decided to expose a long-covered window in the bedroom. When she tore down the drywall, she found a bullet hole in the glass.

“I had never thought to pull that window out until the neighborhood started changing,” Thalhammer told UrbanTurf. “And now I have this east-facing window in the bedroom, and the sun just wakes me up.”


The bedroom is one of the few private spots in Thalhammer’s 2,500 square foot studio, a space she shares with a live-in roommate and another artist, Tom Flynn, who works there by day. Her living space, which has 12-foot ceilings, is a constantly-changing gallery of her and Flynn’s work. And she’s always changing the decor.

“I think changing the way the furniture is or which direction the bed’s facing really can have a big difference in how you interact with your space,” she said. “And then I’m always changing the art because I look at that common space as a gallery.”


The combined space means Thalhammer can’t really escape from her work.

“The way I live and move my furniture and the paintings around really has a lot to do with my creative process,” she explained. “Let’s say I’m just cooking dinner. I can still look at my work while I’m doing that, so I’m always working because of what I am seeing and thinking about.”


The O Street Studios consist of a mix of 35 live-work and work-only spaces that are rented out to a variety of creative types. Since moving in to her unit, Thalhammer — unsurprisingly — has repainted every surface. But much of the studio, apart from the newly-exposed window, has remained the same in terms of its layout. She said she was drawn to both the space and the prospect of living with other artists in a community when she first moved in. Her studio, which consists of a large kitchen and living room surrounded by four smaller rooms, offered ideal space. She uses one room as her bedroom, another as a painting room, and rents the other two to her studiomates.

“I was really looking to be surrounded by other artists and be in a building with other creative, entrepreneur types,” she said. “I wanted a space that I could share with other people, with other artists. It just creates a really nice community when you’re not creating in solitude in a basement cave somewhere.”

See other articles related to: live-work space, best of 2014

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_best_live-work_space_loft_truxton_circle/9330

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