Saturday, October 1, 2016

1724 1st Street is falling apart, and possibly vacant

UPDATE: Not Vacant IMG_4496 (see comments below)

Peeling paint is not exactly a sign of vacancy.
Nor exactly is one bad window.
But when the window allows me to see in to a peeled ceiling, I'm thinking, this house is vacant.

There was a change in owners, sort of, on 2/8/2016 where Donna Dunston, the executor of the previous owner, Samuel H. Singleton, is now on the title. Mr. Singleton is very dead. He died in November, 2004. Ms. Dunston is one of Mr. Singleton's heirs, so I can guess the reason why it took so long to get around to updating the title was a family matter.

There are 4 heirs, so I would not hold my breath on anything happening with this property in the near future. I checked DCRA's PIVS and no permits have been issued. At all. Unfortunately, as you can see from the window, the structure is slowing falling apart. At least the top floor. It does not look like anyone is planning to rescue the structure anytime soon.

The house has a lot going for it. It's in a great location. The city values it for 2017 as being worth $720,830, but then again the structure may be over valued not knowing what kind of damage the house has sustained being vacant for so long. Also, looking at Google Earth map, it looks like it might be possible to fit one car behind the building, a good thing since it is near a popular dining destination. The other and last great thing about this house, the front door. That metal overlay is too cool.
I will note that the front yard is kept up well with the flower pots and flowering bushes, which is why I probably didn't notice the place at first and why it may not be 100% vacant. Only the neighbors would know for sure, and if the property is vacant it should be reported to or people could call 311.


DCDowner said...

It's crazy how many vacant homes are in DC. I've seen many people purposely leave a house vacant and put up a construction sign but not actually do any improvements. The thing that has bothered me is that how does someone purchase these vacant houses? If they actually want to help improve the neighborhood? DC doesn't make it easy.

Mari said...

DCDowner I'm finding peace in the American saying, "Don't hate the playa, hate the game." Meaning, there are all sorts of rules and whatnot that were put in place for one thing and they get used by others with opposing goals and it's not the players' fault if the player didn't make the rules. Neighborhood activists need to be better players of the game than the outside developers.

Yes, it is frustrating when construction starts next door then months of nothing. Then a few weeks of something including some illegal construction. Worse when you're convinced the developers are complete idiots who will take down your house as they screw up theirs. The only thing you can do is bug DCRA & your ANC, document & photograph with the plan to sue, not threaten to sue, plan to sue.... but most people don't. Short of that you could try the power of prayer.

r pemberton said...

If you know any property owners who need help with their vacant homes and the process please send them to

Bloomingdale resident said...

Late seeing this post.

FYI - This house is not vacant and was painted last year.