Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Beautiful Converted Stable in Capitol Hill for Sale

Most stables in Washington had some capacity to house carriages in addition to horses. This explains the width of the entrances of many of these small buildings along with the bollards that were installed to protect the walls as the carriages came and went. They were generally called “stables” at the time. However, the term “coach house” while originally reserved more regal properties, is now widely used to describe these little stables as they became adaptively reused as residences. 

“A small building usually near a large residence or part of an estate, used for keeping coaches, carriages, or other vehicles; - also called coach house. It is now (1998) obsolescent and its function has been taken over by the garage, which is usually attached to a residence or main building. Carriage houses are still found on older estates, though not usually used for their original purpose.”
(Photo from Urban Turf)
This building is a very typical 1900’s D.C. stable located in a Capitol Hill alley. Note the six ground floor, horse head height windows on the side (each small window would have lit a horse stall).  Almost all of the D.C. stables were two stories with the second floor being used to store hay and feed. In some, stable hands lived on the second floor. You can see what was most likely the original hayloft door on the upper right hand side of the building just behind the flag. A beam would have originally been just above this door. 

Washington D.C. witnessed a building boom and population growth in the 1880’s that is reflected in a graph documenting the number of stables built between 1873 and 1922. The beginning of the last century marked the end of stable construction.

In contrast, garage building experienced a small and short-lived boom when significant numbers of cars came into D.C. after 1900. Many of the original alley stables were converted to private garages as horse dependent transportation rapidly waned. These already existing buildings obviated the need to build new garages. 

Stables such as this Capitol Hill stable, very rarely to come onto the market. It is listed through Century 21 at $674,900 for 1472 square feet of space, which works out to roughly $458 per square foot. Many condos in the city are selling for much more per square foot and come with monthly HOA costs. Living in an old stable can be very peaceful. One is away from the main road and entirely self-contained. It’s not for everyone, but for many, it’s a priceless experience. 

More details and images of this property can be explored through Century 21 and Urban Turf.

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