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An Alley-Stable-to-Single Family House Conversion on Capitol Hill

by Nena Perry-Brown

Rendering of the proposed conversion. Click to enlarge.

Very interesting residential plans are on the boards for an underutilized alley property on Capitol Hill. 

Rendering of the proposed conversion. Click to enlarge.

The owners of 203 Rear 3rd Street SE (map), one of which co-owns the Capitol Lounge just steps away, are applying for Historic Preservation (HP) review of a concept to convert the single-story structure into a two-story house. The property is one of five independent alley lots in its immediate area, a contrast to the typical carriage house accessory dwellings on Capitol Hill.

Rendering of the proposed conversion. Click to enlarge.

The current structure was originally a series of stables and carriage houses in the 19th century. At some point, interior partitions were removed, creating a largely open, warehouse-like space with an exposed beam, cast-in-place system supporting the roof.

"We knew that everything we'd want to do with that existing one story is to leave as much of it open and exposed as possible." Mateusz Dzierzanowski, principal of design studio DZ Architecture, tells UrbanTurf. 

Rendering of a second floor outdoor space. Click to enlarge.

The western façade currently retains a series of commercial garage doors with small windows, which could be replaced with wooden shed doors, Kalwall translucent panels, or something else which balances the need for natural light with the need to respect the guidelines of the historic district. The second-story addition will likely be a metal cladding material as a nod to the mercantile history of the neighborhood.

The finished house will have an open main level with a bedroom and full bath, and another three bedrooms and two bathrooms on the upper level. Concrete cut-outs in the roof of the existing building will be retrofit into skylights, adding natural light throughout the house and doubling as part of one of two outdoor spaces on the second floor. The house would also have an interior parking space. 

If the permitting and approval process goes smoothly, interior construction could begin as early as late fall. In the meantime, the property operates as a one-bedroom short-term rental.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/a-proposed-stable-to-single-family-house-conversion-on-capitol-hill/15334

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