City Paper wants to hear your pop-up stories

Washington City Paper Housing Complex reporter Lydia DePillis is soliciting stories on pop-ups. Contact her if you are passionate about pop-ups — or even if you`re not!

Tell Me Your Pop-Up Stories
Posted by Lydia DePillis on Jan. 10, 2012 at 9:14 am

One thing I`ve noticed after a couple years of watching neighborhood blogs and listservs: Few architectural features generate more ire than “pop-ups,“ as the additions of one floor atop a rowhouse are colloquially known. They`re a great way to maximize space in constrained circumstances, capitalizing on natural light and perhaps allowing a homeowner to stick around rather than light out for the suburbs in search of a third bedroom.

But they sure can get ugly, when siding doesn`t match the original house, or when the addition interrupts a harmonious block. At the moment, the District`s zoning code doesn`t address pop-ups, and in at least one neighborhood—Barney Circle, east of Capitol Hill—residents tried to pass an historic district in large part to fill the gap.

I`d like to more fully explore the phenomenon of pop-ups and the discussions that happen around them. If you`ve got one you`re proud of, or can`t stand a
neighbor`s, or have any other observations to share, please get in touch.

2 thoughts on “City Paper wants to hear your pop-up stories

  1. I currently live next to a “pop up” which is a little bit of an eye sore. But I have to say it is not the worst house on the block. The block is a mismatch off all different types of homes, bay windows, flat fronts, all different widths, etc. So the pop up does not seem to make a difference. The roof on the “pop up” is a mansard roof which helps disguise the third story a bit. I can see how if the block was a unified style or design that any “pop up” would disrupt the overall feel of it. Maybe another solution is to hold it at least 10′ from the front so you don’t see it from the street.

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