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Alley Homes Return to Hill East

by Nena Perry-Brown

Duvall Moderns. Click to enlarge.

A new project is returning residences to an alley in Hill East.

Duvall Moderns consists of seven new houses from 461-471 Duvall Court SE (map), designed by Richard Loosle-Ortega and KUBE architecture. This isn't the first time this block hosted alley dwellings, however.

In 1891, John H. Duvall built houses on those same contiguous lots, and at least a few of the residences were home to Germans who are believed to have worked in the nearby Capitol Brewery Company. According to Census records, the residents were all white in 1900. By 1910, the alley had one Black household, and by 1920, all the homes were occupied by Black families. Property tax records show no sign of the houses in 1968. 

Main level, end unit. Click to enlarge.

While the lots were too small and narrow to permit development after a zoning code was established, this changed with the 2016 zoning rewrite, which made alley dwellings by-right in residential zones. The development team got a name approved for the alley in 2017.

Roof. Click to enlarge.

Each of the completed houses has been designed to maximize natural light and offer outdoor space, with walkable green roofs, giving owners the option of gardening. The interior units have skylight-esque solar tubes. 

Rear. Click to enlarge.

Some of the units a "flex space" on the main level that have Murphy beds and can be customized with retractable walls, and most also have second-floor rear-facing balconies. 

Kim Webb of Douglas Realty is selling the two- and three-bedroom homes; each holds its own title and there are no monthly fees.

History of the lots originally researched by the Capitol Hill Restoration Society.

See other articles related to: kube architecture, hill east, alleys, alley dwellings

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/alley-homes-return-to-hill-east/16775

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