318 7th Street NE
Like many properties on Capitol Hill, this three-bedroom carriage home had a few other lives before becoming a residence.
Located in an alley off Maryland Avenue, owner/architect Mark Merlino learned of the property at 318 7th Street NE in 2000 when its owner wanted to sell it off from the adjacent house.
Open main floor
“He told me that it had been used for auto repair since the ’40s, but before that, it had been horse-and-buggy repair,” Merlino told UrbanTurf. “You can see evidence in the architecture; you had double barn doors on three of the sides so that you could make those corners with a horse-and-buggy.” Windows were punched out, so that the horses could stick their heads out of for food and fresh air.
Merlino researched the site for a few years before purchasing the property in 2003. He spent the next two years clearing out the building, as he worked on other projects and made preliminary drawings of the interior layout. As he prepared to make the property his new home, he had to secure a zoning adjustment to use the alleyway structure as a residence. The building also needed hookups for electricity, sewer and water, which had previously been rigged from the main house. The boiler room, which was enclosed in walls three- and four- bricks deep, had to be dismantled; a ladder that originally led to a hayloft was replaced with a staircase.
By 2008, renovations were finally complete allowing Merlino and his wife to leave behind a traditional rowhouse nearby on Third Street and move into the restored carriage house. The home boasts many interior finishes that were leftovers from sites that Merlino’s construction firm worked on.
For example, the decorative handrails on the second floor landing and the gold balls atop the posts were salvaged from worksites in Baltimore. A set of closet doors by the entrance were reclaimed from a demolished garage near the convention center; Merlino refinished them and had beveled, mirrored glass installed. The glass kitchen cabinet doors were also collected from clients’ scrap piles over the years, typically in sets of two. While the main level has heated concrete flooring, reclaimed cast-iron radiators found on the property provide heat on the second level.
While the sale of the home that they restored is bittersweet, the next chapter in the Merlinos’ real estate timeline won’t be too bad: they plan to retire by the water in Maryland.
More details and photos below.
Ceiling with original beams
- Full Listing: 318 7th Street NE (map)
- Price: $1,099,999
- Bedrooms: Three
- Bathrooms: Three
- Square Footage: 2,010
- Listing Agent: Olivia Merlino, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/twf_horse-and-carriage_to_3bd/12375.
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