All the best living spaces started out as something other than living spaces. What does this mean? Are house architects really that bad at their jobs? Maybe in architecture school, the top students go on to do monuments and stadiums, the good students go on to do industrial buildings and skyscrapers, and the very bottom of the class, the students who slept through lectures and used the fancy rendering software to draw 3D doodles, end up doing houses by default. I don’t know. All I know is that almost all the best homes started out as factories or stables or warehouses. Everything is backwards.
This place is a perfect example; formerly a gyrocopter factory, it’s now the site of some of the most spectacular condos in the city. This unit has just under 3000 square feet of high-ceilinged, open floor plan living space spread over three levels; at $1.7 million, it’s not exactly cheap, but when you consider what you’re getting, it’s a borderline steal. That money might get you a parking space in, say, Georgetown; here it gets you a space straight from the pages of Architectural Digest, and with enough room for a happy family of ten, or a really miserable family of three. (There’s no grievance that having your own entire floor won’t soothe.) The living room area sports fifteen foot ceilings and exposed brick walls – this place has a TON of exposed brick, possibly because of the building’s landmark status. If you prefer your brick discreetly plastered and wallpapered like a 19th century gentlewoman in 11 floor-length petticoats and a ruffled turtleneck, this isn’t the place for you. But if you like your brick as naked as a 58-year old French guy at a nude beach, call your bank.
The open gourmet kitchen sports a marble-topped island, top of the line stainless steel appliances, and floating shelves that are perfect for displaying the handmade ceramics you bought at the flea market for the express purpose of displaying on your floating shelves. The island also features an awesome farmhouse sink, which is dangerous because it could hold two or three weeks worth of dirty dishes, and once you’ve accumulated three weeks of dirty dishes, the only real options are to get a flamethrower or just move out. (I solved this problem by only having one of everything, though admittedly it gets awkward when I have a guest and they have to eat off a Frisbee.)
The master bedroom suite is just off this main living area; it’s huge, with more exposed brick, and a walk-in closet fit for a dictator’s wife. The master bath has an oversized soaking tub big enough to bathe a full-grown dairy cow (good luck explaining yourself when your significant other comes home early from work and walks in on you) and a glass-walled shower. Up the open steel staircase is the lofted rec room, complete with wet bar and a huge picture window through which you could dive headfirst the very instant anyone suggests firing up the ol’ karaoke machine. And through a pair of sliding glass doors is the private roof deck, which is quite frankly amazing. A lot of roof decks are postage stamp-sized, but you could host a breakdancing exhibition out here. And the view is stunning; not only can you see the Washington Monument, you can also see several other palatial private roof decks nearby. You and the other rich people in the neighborhood should work out some kind of system of hand signals so you can exchange stock tips from your decks.
770 Girard Street NW 8E
3 Bedrooms, 4 Baths
All photos courtesy MRIS; listing courtesy TTR Sothebys, 202-234-3344