I've gotta say, I wasn't 100% prepared for what I saw the last time I went inside the future Lionel Lofts condos on 14th Street NW in Washington, DC. I like to think I'm as progressive a preservationist as it gets: strip the plaster down the the brick? Go for it - and hurry up! Add an uber-modern addition to the side of an old building? Of course! It'll highlight the old and bring a fresh look to the street. But there's a personality to older places, and I still feel something when part of that is lost.
Here at Lionel Lofts, there will be a fantastic exterior restoration, and - like we knew all along - a mostly new interior and rear addition. We're in the operating table stage now, which is why it feels a little more dramatic.
But seriously: THIS IS STILL EXCITING. I mean, check out all the debris and dust and concrete and bricks that are going away to make the space more clean and open and restaurant-friendly.
Exciting, yes. But that's not to say that when I walked into the Lofts building last week to check out the progress, I didn't have one of those "wow"/stomach sinks to the floor moments. Because I did. I mean, the floors were gone, and with them one of my favorite discoveries: the brick fireplaces on both of the upper levels. (But look! You can see the smoke trails running up the wall showing where the chimneys were.)... Read More →
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