Hot Damn, Another Down: 30 Quincy Place NE is under contract

After less than two weeks on the market, 30 Quincy Place NE has been snapped up

List Price: $699,923

Houses have been flying off the market in Eckington this summer, and this one was no exception.

This is your typical, stately Eckington Victorian, built in 1905 and brought back to life with a quality renovation. At about 1,700 square feet, the home has 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths and includes a rentable in-law suite in the basement that will likely rent for $1,300+.

We caught the first open house and thought it was lovely.


2 thoughts on “Hot Damn, Another Down: 30 Quincy Place NE is under contract

  1. This was a typical “gut job.” A standard wood frame house was erected inside, so the wonderful brick construction is wasted, performing much the same as the brick facing on a suburban ranch style house. The “open” floor plan results in one big noisy space which disguises how narrow these houses are but leaves everyone/everything constantly in view – because building interior walls costs more money. Shiny pieces of thin hardwood flooring (in a busy-looking number of shades) were used everywhere, even on stair risers and as trim. Modern mortar was used on old, soft brick, meaning the brick will gradually fail (it may be even be silicon caulk inside, judging from the sloppy joints in the exposed brick walls). The front porch and sidewalk were painted, meaning they’ll have to be repainted every year or two. The vaulted ceiling under the turret in the master bedroom is dramatic looking, but that’s where an insulated space was meant to be, so good luck cooling the room. At least when the turret leaks (as turrets tend to do) it won’t go unnoticed. The bulkhead for the HVAC duct work (that’s right, all the original radiators were jettisoned) is inches above the arch over the front door. The slate turret roof was replaced with faux slate shingles. The stone retaining wall (one of the few intact ones left in the area) was permanently defaced then covered with a facade of thin stone tiles. The original plaster/tile foyer, perfectly intact, was demolished and replaced with sheet rock. The interior door was removed, meaning cold/hot air will blast all the way to the kitchen every time the door is opened. The top floor windows in the back were shrunk so that smaller, standard size windows (looks like vinyl) could be used, saving hundreds[!] of dollars. In back, the kitchen door/transom and large window were replaced with faux French doors, with no gain in daylight and a loss in ventilation options … and apparently making a galley kitchen the only possible layout. Since mismatched brick was used for the door/window rearrangement, the building exterior will be infinitely repainted, with no possibility of ever being restored to its original brick appearance. Standard “can” lights were used everywhere, so there’s no personality but plenty of energy demand. The inevitable faux stainless appliance fronts, granite countertops, and glass tile backsplash help distract the eye from the cheap cabinetry and interior doors. The bathrooms – the ones that are shown – aren’t much bigger than the originals, and in at least one, the tub looks like acrylic. True, there’s lots of crown moulding, but it ends abruptly in places without being finished out. The backyard was concreted over, without even a nod to greenspace. The back porches are small, characterless, and cheap (note the handrail on the stairs, and those odd braces at a 45 degree angle). If any kitchen ever cried out for a peninsula to help define the space, it’s the one in the basement. Instead, there’s a corner heavy with pricey – but not quality – cabinetry and a sink that faces blank walls. The basement unit is only suitable for family/close friends since it has an indoor staircase (space sorely needed if the unit is ever to become a legally distinct rental). Notice we don’t see all the bedrooms pictured, but to squeeze in five, some of them must be closet-size. Yet somehow, an elf-sized bathroom and powder room got in squeezed in somewhere. I bet the gutters drain either into the alley or straight onto the concrete driveway, not into the sewer system as DC law requires. The front yard has three times as many shrubs as it needs. Left alone, it will be one large bush someday. With luck, that will help hide the ugly oversized electrical box plopped into the yard without any attempt at camouflage. The colors are conspicuously uninspired. The mission style light fixture (not in the required outdoor rated box, I bet) on the front porch matches the door, true, but neither matches the building … nor do the modern iron railings, which were used indoors as well. Yes, they’re much “airier” looking than the original stoop, removed though it was perfect for potted plants or for sitting on. This is a late Victorian era rowhouse. It’s not meant to look “airy.” There’s no laundry room. There’s not even a mailbox! While it’s true this house wasn’t well maintained over the years, there’s no reason it couldn’t have been renovated with a focus on preservation, sound environmental choices, and genuine quality (not just superficial eye candy, bling) and still made the contractor a reasonable profit. Like I said, typical. If you want it, buy it, but know what you’re getting.

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