Richardson Place is one of those hidden blocks that taxi drivers are never able to find, and when you have a party, your friends will text you every ten minutes asking, “I turn which way off New Jersey Avenue?” The upside is that you get to live on one of the quietest, quaintest blocks in the city, a mini-neighborhood (there are only about a dozen houses) that’s almost like a village right in the middle of Shaw. (Or Truxton Circle, if you prefer; Richardson Place residents differ on this point.) You’ll probably get to know your neighbors, which is good because they do mobilize and stick together when something threatens their idyllic block. (Most staggering tidbit from that article; you could’ve bought a house on Richardson Place in 2001 for $60,000. That would’ve been a better investment than Apple stock.)
This little gem is a rarity in this part of town; an entire house for under a million. Rarer still, it has a now-banned popup, so it has significantly more square footage than most of the houses on the block, not to mention an elevated roof deck from which you can literally look down on the neighborhood like my mother figuratively looks down on anyone who has a tattoo. (She’s old and thinks only criminals and pirates should have them.) Inside, the home is modestly-proportioned, but wide open, and outfitted with top-shelf finishes. The kitchen sports sleek minimalist cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, a subway tile backsplash, and quartz counters, which come with a license to smirk patronizingly at your friends’ behind-the-curve granite and marble counters. There’s also a small bar, which adds a touch of sophistication to the room. I really enjoy going to people’s homes and looking at what their bars are stocked with; it tells you a lot about a person. (Case in point: my bar right now has a bottle of Southern Comfort next to a half-full two-liter of room temperature Dr. Pepper, and a bottle of jalapeno schnapps I bought because it was 90% off at the liquor store.)
Further on is a sitting room area, that opens onto a backyard surrounded by privacy fencing, so you can finally plant that ayahuasca patch you’ve always wanted. Upstairs is the bright master bedroom, which has a huge floor-to-ceiling window; if your significant other ever leans over at bedtime and says, “hey, let’s watch this hilarious Jimmy Fallon viral video,” you can immediately dive headfirst through the glass. In the master bath, the shower is lined with subway tile and has a rainfall showerhead, making each shower an Authentic New York City Homeless Person Experience (TM). Upstairs, on the third level, is another bedroom, this one with a somewhat dizzying view into the rear yard, and a cozy sitting room that opens onto a roof deck that overlooks the front of the house and the street below. I’m not saying you should invite your friends over, one by one, and then dump a five gallon bucket of water down onto them from the roof deck when they walk up to your front door, but I will say that I did this once, and just typing that sentence out made me think about it and laugh fondly.
409 Richardson Place NW
3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy TTR Sotheby’s, 202-333-1212