Wednesday, December 9, 2009

1320 9th Street (4 in 1) has a bright future!

The property bought by Darryl Carter is actually a collection of four individual buildings (including the yellow stable in the alley) reflecting progressive expansion since the original building was constructed. Section #2 was built in the mid 1800’s as was the stable. The dormers (shown at the arrow) define one original face of the building. The front section on 9th Street appears to have been built in the mid 20’s like its neighbor the EFN Lounge. Fortunately the property is protected from demolition under law by virtue of its status on the National Register of Landmark Historic Properties. It is also protected by HPO and HPRB. The neighborhood anticipates great new developments here!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Naylor Court Stable To Begin Another Life!

The word on the street in the Shaw neighborhood is that Darryl Carter, a well-respected Washington designer, recently bought 1320  9th Street. It is understood that the restoration of the 1800’s buildings will begin in shortly. The plans include preserving the stable at the back of the property which is vital because of the historic importance and legal protection of the stable and the Naylor Court alley. The little yellow stable in Naylor Court has been heavily modified over its lifetime, yet it retains its essential configuration as a stable with the central second story hayloft door and beam. Given the high quality of Darryl Carter’s design work and his eye for design that is respectful of the past and elegance of the traditional, it can be reasonably assumed that when he turns his hand to developing this languishing property – a former antiques store in another life - it will delightfully come alive once again.

        Even though Naylor Court and Blagden Alley are a collection of historic landmark properties protected by the National Register they have been relentlessly ravaged by neglect and willful destruction. However, there is still hope for the future preservation of its remnants. This will occur with one property at a time. Creative adaptive reuse of the stables through new owners such as Darryl Carter sets a high water mark in the history of the resurrection of one of the city’s little recognized or appreciated collections of alley gems in Naylor Court.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Blagden Alley/Naylor Court Historic District Designation

Bounded by 9th, 10th, M, and O Streets, NW
This district of residential, commercial, and service structures is notable for the network of alleyways enclosed behind a facade of middle-class residential streets. In isolated and cramped conditions, amid the stables and warehouses, such alleys provided habitation for the working poor. Blagden Alley in particular inspired humanitarian reformers to eradicate the deplorable living conditions that these alleys came to embody. While African-Americans were disproportionately represented in the alley population, the area developed as an economically and racially mixed neighborhood with a rich variety of architectural styles and diverse quality. The district includes dwellings of freedmen, examples of black real estate ownership prior to emancipation, and houses like the home of Blanche K. Bruce, the first African-American to serve a full term as U.S. Senator.
There are approximately 150 buildings, c. 1833-1941, and sites with archaeological potential; DC designation September 19, 1990 (effective November 13, 1990), NR listing November 16, 1990; designation superseded by an expanded DC district July 22, 1999 (effective September 7, 1999); NR listing amended September 9, 1999 to create a larger Mount Vernon West Historic District; original DC designation reinstituted December 16,
1999; see also Shaw HD