Stay Here is a new Netflix series where the hosts offer marketing and design help for Airbnb rentals around the country. In a recent episode, hosts Genevieve Gorder and Peter Lorimer visit the R Street firehouse to help transform it into a high-demand short-term rental.
At the time, owner Michael Abbenante was listing a three-bedroom apartment at the rear of the property at a rate of $200-$250 per night. However, the unit included some windowless spaces and wasn't emphasizing the building's history as a firehouse, which includes a firepole in the center of the hallway. Abbenante lives in a one-bedroom loft at the front of the property, taking advantage of the soaring ceiling height and 15-foot original archtop windows.
Gorder and Lorimer's proposed expanding Abbenante's one-bedroom loft into a family-friendly three-bedroom and using the front of the property as the rental, converting the rear of the building into a one-bedroom where Abbenante would live.
Gorder and Lorimer recommended drawing attention to the history of the 19th-century property by taking advantage of the impressive front windows, exposed brick and original fire pole. Salvaged pipes were used to assemble a built-in bunk in one of the bedrooms, while a den was converted into a "firehouse lounge" with themed decor.
The building's status as the first all-Black firefighting company in the District is celebrated through a printed timeline decal superimposed on a window and a muralized photo taken by photographer Gordon Parks.
The work seen during the episode was filmed over the course of 4-5 days; in order to complete work on the unit, including updating two of the three bathrooms, Abbenante retained contractors for another 1.5 months.
The three-bedroom loft unit featured on the show is currently available for $600 per night on Airbnb; three other one-bedroom units are also available in the building.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/r-street-firehouse-gets-a-made-for-tv-makeover/14352
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