Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stable for Sale in Historic Naylor Court NW

Original stables rarely come up for sale in Washington D.C. The development drought in the years that followed the 1968 riots paradoxically protected many of the small commercial buildings in the alleys of Washington from destruction. The population declined and the need for “high density housing” simply did not exist during that era. The past decade however, has seen a rebirth of new construction and adaptive reuse of many old (large and small) commercial alley buildings.

This 19th Century stable (1878) is now on the market in Naylor Court. It has a lot size of 26’ x 95’ and a 40’ x 26” private walled rear garden. The building retains many of the original stable features such as the center “hayloft drop” fenestration on the second floor, original beams, flooring and bollards. Serendipitously, the adjacent property (52’ x 95’) is also for sale, creating the potential for a creative development project. The stable opens onto a 30 foot alley and one can park a car inside. It has been working as a printing business.

 Original Bollard and Stable Door Hinges

The author recently met with the Director of the Office of Planning to share his view that alleys and their provenance through old buildings such as stables should be more thoughtfully considered when planning block development. Given the small size of Washington (12 mile diameter) and the considerable height restriction for buildings, the value of the core of blocks should not be dismissed as simply places for trash and services (a prevailing city sentiment). Development and urban renewal in the core of blocks is consonant with preservation of the past history. These are not mutually exclusive concepts. Indeed if done with intelligence and sensitivity, each complements the other. There are many examples throughout the world and a couple in Washington. One only needs to stroll through Blues Alley and Cady’s Alley by the C and O canal to relieve any apprehension. Naylor Court has 15 old stables in various conditions and has great potential to be one of the few remaining alleys in the city that can be salvaged through a synergistic combination of restoration and new development.

If anyone is interested in the Naylor Court stable for sale, the owner can be reached at (202) 328-3286. The City Paper’s ad description is as follows:
OLD CONSTRUCTION LOFT building. First time offered. Former livery stable built in 1870’s. Rehabbed. Unique, 1 block from the Convention Center. Full-span two floors. Large (approximately 2550 square feet). Oak floor, exposed brick, thick beams. Secluded large backyard. Parking. $895,000