This Week’s Find: A Labor of Love in LeDroit Park

by Nena Perry-Brown

This Week's Find: A Labor of Love in LeDroit Park: Figure 1
408 U Street NW

This Week’s Find is a LeDroit Park home that Alan Rogers and James Roberts purchased in 1996 for $85,000 and lovingly restored over the years to its current condition.

Rogers and Roberts have lived in LeDroit Park since 1989, but in a house behind the restored property at 408 U Street NW. They purchased the home in hopes of subdividing the property and annexing the three-car garage that came with it; however, the city would not permit this transfer despite the shared ownership.

This Week's Find: A Labor of Love in LeDroit Park: Figure 2
Living room

Instead of selling it, the couple occasionally rented out the house and used it as an artist studio over the past ten years. Rogers specializes in historic preservation, so the gradual work on the U Street house began five years ago as a labor of love, and more than an outright modernization campaign, its restoration involved what he described as “[peeling] back the layers of time.”

This Week's Find: A Labor of Love in LeDroit Park: Figure 3
Eat-in kitchen

The peeling back was literal in some instances, as the prior homeowners had painted and repainted over many of the original features. For example, all of the rooms had a linoleum rug in the center of the floor surrounded by painted floorboards; upon removal of the rug, a quarter inch-thick perimeter sheet of paint remained to be sanded down.

This Week's Find: A Labor of Love in LeDroit Park: Figure 4
Restored staircase

“It took an entire winter to strip the decades and decades of paint from the stairwell,” Rogers told UrbanTurf. The fireplaces were stripped as well and most of the original windows and window glass were restored. Two floor-to-ceiling windows were added to the rear of the house to create southern-facing exposure.

This Week's Find: A Labor of Love in LeDroit Park: Figure 5
Dining and family room

The electric and gas systems were updated in such a way that the original ceiling heights and medallions were preserved. “We preserved the integrity of the house because James McGill had an eye for designing homes that were very comfortable to live in,” Rogers explains, referencing the architect who designed the original 64 houses that make up LeDroit Park.

This Week's Find: A Labor of Love in LeDroit Park: Figure 6
Master bathroom

The garage has a steel I-beam left over from the prior owner’s mechanic business. Now that new zoning laws are in effect, the structure presents a prime opportunity to create a sizeable accessory dwelling or simply extend the living space beyond the main house.

More photos and details are below. The home will officially hit the market later this week.

This Week's Find: A Labor of Love in LeDroit Park: Figure 7

This Week's Find: A Labor of Love in LeDroit Park: Figure 8
Master bedroom

This Week's Find: A Labor of Love in LeDroit Park: Figure 9

This Week's Find: A Labor of Love in LeDroit Park: Figure 10
Three-car garage

  • Full Listing: 408 U Street NW (map)
  • Price: $899,000
  • Bedrooms: Three
  • Bathrooms: 2.5
  • Year Built: 1876
  • Listing Agents: Heather Davenport and Matthew McHugh, Washington Fine Properties

Photos courtesy of HomeVisit.

See other articles related to: restoring a house in the city, ledroit park

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/twf_a_labor_of_love_in_ledroit_park/11816

1 Comment

  1. LedroitTigah said at 8:36 pm on Monday October 24, 2016:
    I live not too far from this house, and have watched as it has been slowly renovated over the years. They did a truly fantastic job on it - well done!

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