August 30, 2011 Berla and Abel, Columbia Heights, Row House

1949 Mid-Century Row House in Columbia Heights – $353K

Arkansas Ave. Townhouse

I went to see this listing today for a 1949 row house on Arkansas Avenue near Rock Creek Park. While the the row of 10 homes evoke the more traditional row houses seen throughout the city or Alexandria, they are definitely more modern in style, including flat roof, the larger windows and shade on the top front window, which evokes an extended eave on a mid-century modern single family home. This row sits across the street from 27 earlier modernist row houses, known as the Tiffey Townhomes. The Tiffey Townhomes (see picture below) were designed in the 1930s by local  modernist architects Julian Berla and Joseph Abel. (I wonder if Berla and Abel designed the later homes as well?)  The 1949 house, listed for $353K, has 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms and needs work. As the listing says, “Needs a paint brush and imagination.”

Tiffey Townhomes

The Tiffey Townhomes on Arkansas Avenue by Berla and Abel.

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  1. liz — August 31, 2011 @ 6:42 am         Reply

    Mike – just how much of a fixer upper is this place? I’ve admired these homes for years, assuming they were mid-century row-houses long before the Post article and this blog confirmed so. Thanks in advance!!

  2. nicole — August 31, 2011 @ 9:49 am         Reply

    This house is a MESS. We went to see it. Toxic waste dump. The upstairs ceiling is falling in and clearly there is a TON of other water damage. The bathroom upstairs is almost serviceable but the rest of the house is just one big dump.

  3. Tom — August 31, 2011 @ 10:13 am         Reply

    We know a couple who lived in one of these and had done a beautiful job with the renovation. They were pioneers, long before that side of 16th Street had begun to gentrify.

    Sounds like it is over-priced, but salvageable for a complete gut-rehab. Certainly not for the intrepid!

    Michigan Park DC

  4. Mid-Century Mike — August 31, 2011 @ 10:35 am         Reply

    Yes. This could be a cool space but it needs a lot of work.

  5. PKB — August 31, 2011 @ 2:48 pm         Reply

    The architect was George T. Santmyers and the owner was Modern Properties Co.

    1. Mid-Century Mike — September 8, 2011 @ 2:55 pm         Reply

      Thanks for the info.

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