Back in the Gilded Age, all the nouveau riche robber barons of the east coast engaged in the sort of competition that only nouveau riche robber barons would ever consider engaging in; who could build the most ridiculously lavish mansion on Long Island? A banker built a fireproof castle on a man-made hill (the hill alone took two years to build), and JP Morgan’s son built a massive Georgian mansion that later became (supposedly) haunted, and was eventually dynamited, but the most over-the-top house is probably this one. (Note: Gatsby’s laughably vulgar mansion in the “Great Gatsby” was directly modeled on these houses.) … OWN THIS 48-ACRE PRIVATE EAST COAST ISLAND FOR ONLY $125 MILLION
I don’t know when the term “staycation” was invented, or who was able to twist the sad notion that they were just too tired to go anywhere on vacation into a hip thing that people strived toward, but….props to the 21st century for this one. If you’ve ever gotten back from vacation having seen a new slice of the world but honestly feeling like you probably should have just slept the whole time, you’re not alone – the act of actually going and doing is, quite frankly, exhausting. … DC’S HIPPEST HOTELS WORTHY OF A STAYCATION
Do you ever have one of those days when you’re walking around the city, the sun’s out, the metro was running on time, there’s the smell of coffee and your favorite whiff of bakery in the air, and you almost get goosebumps thinking about how great DC is? On the days that you get stopped for hours upon hours in presidential motorcade traffic or pay your mortgage, it might be hard to remember – but it’s important to take stock of what an amazing city we’re living in. Of course, there is a long list of elements that make it great – the people, the history, the energy, the places. Oh, the places you can go in DC – and what makes a city more city-esque than the buildings, from the sky high rises to the home sweet homes where city dwellers lay their heads at night, architecture is a huge piece of any city’s puzzle. … DC ARCHITECT INSPO: OSSOLINSKI ARCHITECTS
Container houses are literally made of trash, you know – the steel containers, most of which originate in China, just aren’t cost-effective to ship back and reuse, so thousands of discarded ones began piling up around port towns. One day, someone looked at one and said, “I should make this into a house.” That’s where so many things came from; someone looked at a piece of trash and said to themselves, “I can work with this.” (I mean, that’s how most of my relationships started, too.) … YOU CAN BUILD A HOUSE OUT OF *WHAT*?
Many of us have been to the Lincoln Memorial, but did you know Lincoln had a summer home here in D.C. too?
It’s true. This 175-year-old building just off North Capitol Street next to the Soldier’s Home was lovingly restored and opened to the public in 2008. The 10,000-square-foot, 34-room home is more spacious than one might expect in a “cottage.” But the double front doors with rounded tops that meet to form a point at the top and the gingerbread trim make you think fairies and gnomes might have once lived here. … LINCOLN’S COTTAGE SHOWS HOW THE PRESIDENT SPENT SUMMERS
A lot of times, the only interest we have in developments is the finishing touches – -the breaking ground of a new project or the demolishing and refurbishing of a redevelopment. It goes without saying, though, that those moments are not the whole story. There is a lot of fight that goes on without the rallying cry of public interest to push it forward. The redevelopment I wanted to cover today, of Georgetown’s West Heating Plant, was first brought to the table in 2013. For reference, that’s when Macklemore was singing about Thrift Shops and Miley Cyrus was hell bent on killing her Disney princess image by way of a foam finger. If you’ve buried those memories, you’re not alone, and the point is simple: it’s been a while. … DC DEVELOPMENT(S): GEORGETOWN WEST HEATING PLANT PROPOSAL
Whenever I hear about another Brutalist building being torn down, I think of all those guys whose mothers threw out their old baseball card collections ten years before they became more valuable than gold. Brutalism is experiencing a revival among architects and design nerds for the very same reason that local governments are over it; its confrontational ugliness. In an era where likability is the highest virtue, what could be more appealing – or scandalous – than a building that rubs your face in its complete absence of aesthetic appeal? … IT’S NOT EASY BEING UGLY: FOUR BRUTALIST GEMS THAT WERE DEMOLISHED