Thursday, February 24, 2011

What's the Story, Maple View Glory?

The grand manse at 1220 Maple View Place SE is one of the worst vacant/blighted property offenders in the neighborhood.


the house is literally a big ol' Do Not Enter for the neighborhood

Look past the boarded-up windows, the flaking paint, and the general sense of pure abandonment, it's a completely beautiful house that deserves so much more. Located at the corner of Maple View and Mount View, the house will eventually succumb to the elements if something isn't done to save it.


check out the awesome detail work

The house, built sometime between 1880 and 1905, is a great example of the Queen Ann Victorian architecture found mostly in the south end of the neighborhood (Maple View Place, Mount View Place, and High Street, with a few exceptions): protruding bays, curved windows, both shingle and clapboard siding, and grand porches.


its location on the corner makes its abandonment all the more obvious

So what gives? Why is the owner (New Rhode Island LLC), who currently owes $98,100.93 in back taxes on the house, letting the property just fall apart? And why isn't the city stepping in to do something about it? The owner's address on Rhode Island Avenue NE is currently a print shop with no knowledge of the house, but I was told that mail still comes there for the LLC and is never picked up.


check out the (potentially) awesome sleeping porch on the second floor

The house is consistently listed in the city's tax sales, and nobody has paid taxes since the 2007 tax year. At what point does the city just take the property and give it to someone who will fix it up? Come on now.

Update: I've dug a little deeper and discovered that the agent for the LLC is listed as Daryl Dudley of NE DC. From a quick google search, it looks like he is part of a real estate management company called Dudley Pro Realty on Rhode Island Avenue. After speaking with a co-owner Cornelius Dudley, it sounds like they are not making any efforts to rectify the situation.

Click Here for a Washington City Paper article on the owner

19 comments:

kiki said...

I love that street, the houses and the views. I want to see them fixed up!

GF said...

I say lets form a citizen coalition that will go after the owner..force the city and the owner to take action...any ideas..I am willing to work with community groups in the existing area and any federal groups that will help us rid out neighborhood of this eyesore..and I dont mean get rid of it..lets not let this be another Big K project

eve said...

I thought properties become the possession of the city once taxes aren't paid. Isn't that how flippers get so many properties, through tax auctions?

AnacostiaQUE said...

Something needs to be done, that's for sure. This house does not seem to serve any purpose. It just sits there forever. Great post and thanks for the info.

Biz said...

That house serious potential. I see it all the time as I take a little short cut to Grandview. I have to shrug off it's decrepit condition everytime I see it. Disappointing.

Biz said...

*That house [has] serious potential*

Anonymous said...

That house needs to be torn down. The cost of rehab will be more than the appraised value. Probably another case where the historic folks are standing in the way of something being developed on this corner. Something new could be built that fits the neighborhood and much cheaoper than restoring this old house. How about a group getting together and prtesting the people who wont let this house be torn down.

AnacostiaQUE said...

I can support the "tear down" suggestion, if the cost of rehabbing is more than the existing value. Only a true historic geek would take this on - and spend the necessary dollars.

Meanwhile, this - and other seriously blighted properties - make the neighborhood look uninviting and abandoned houses always carry the risk of danger. Sometimes, historic needs to exist in "historic" times if it can't find a role in modern times. Unless a family were to utilize a house of this size, after the very expensive rehab, the best use might be a museum or business of sorts. Generations will have come and gone, yet these eyesores are still left standing. I am for historic Anacostia, but I am not for history that seems to contribute to blight. If rehab, somebody needs to make a move. Otherwise, at some point, it's got to go!

MR said...

I wonder if it would be possible for one of the construction or trade-training programs would be willing/able to get involved. Maybe the city or nonprofits could by the properties and use them for their students and graduates to fix up as part of their training or apprenticeships. Then they could sell or rent them for the next round. Or, turn them into low-income housing, which is so desperately needed in this city. That way the city/owner gets rid of a blighted property plus the positive press that would go with it, those involved with the rehab would get experience, a job and increased self-esteem, and the neighborhood improves. Probably a pipe dream, but would be great.

DG-rad said...

it is abosolutely NOT in the neighborhood's interest to let this house or any other vacant house be torn down. It sets a very dangerous precedent. If allowed, it would encourage other landlords to let their houses go to rot rather than fix them up.

This is one of the most grand and potentially beautiful houses in the neighborhood. I'm sorry, but I have seen people build sh*t too many times to believe that anyone would construct a new houses with half the amount of detail and quality as this.

AnacostiaQUE said...

I understand the detail and craftsmanship and dangerous precedent-setting with allowing properties to rot, but it seems nothing is being done anyway. Actually living around this type of safety hazard/eye sore is another important consideration. I like the idea just mentioned about job/apprenticeship training, experience, etc. I've been in the Anacostia area since 2004, and these very same properties just sit and sit and sit.....

At the very least, if there is any way we can generate action to address the resulting blight issue (that doesn't exist in the type of community we aspire to be), we need to take it. Preferably restoration, but if clearly not imminent, then maybe destruction (emphasize maybe).

Times are different, versus when many of these structures were originally built, and it's not easy to find a current beneficial/profitable use that justifies the expense of restoration (I don't envision a family stepping up anytime soon for purposes of simply living). If located on MLK, something like a Big K could be converted into a CVS - with a historic facade. For something tucked away in a neighborhood, not easily seen from MLK or Good Hope, the lack of foot traffic becomes an issue.

Great dialogue.

Kami said...

Anonymous - stop blaming historic preservation. There is no record of the owners even requesting demolition of this building. The owners have neglected the building not the historic folks. I love our neighborhood and its historic character and I would hate to see another property lost because some jackass from outside of the neighborhood bought at auction and chose not to fix it up.

Madge said...

Sad commentary on the life of some houses... this one has such a beautiful character and would be so lovely if rescued and restored... well captured.

Anonymous said...

I guess the rest of us have to sit around and wait for some wealthy person (with the same love affair for historic at all cost as most of the people on this blog) comes to the rescue. Meanwhile, folks with regular income who are interested in a decent safe neighborhood will continue to look over our community and keep moving. (I actually had a friend who I was trying to convince to buy a house in Anacostia who was deterred by the number of houses like this one) This house may give some of you guys a warm fuzzy feeling about its historic charm but the state that it is in is nothing but I drag on my neighborhood. Historic is fine so long as it does not encourge blight. One simple rule - you must preserve the house if its after rehab value will at least equal the cost. Otherwise, get the heck out of the way at let somebody build something that is habitable.

Anonymous said...

With all the victoria architecture and the street car coming... has anyone tried to promote/market/label Anacostia as Sana Costia (little play on San Francisco)? It seems like historic anacostia is missy an identity. No one outside of these blogs know about or has idea of the assets here. Name recognition with San Fran would spark an image which is generally positive.

kiki said...

can we get bill gates and warren buffet to come visit and fix up these houses? i wish i could. that whole street is beautfiul and has so much potential. does anyone have any pics of it when it was nice before the neglect?

Anonymous said...

If you want new and shiny, move to PG or Loudon county. City needs to get this building out of the LLC's hands via a tax sale. At tax auction it could sell for $100K. $150K gets you the best house in the neighborhood or a decent profit when it appraises at $350K.

Problem is probably that city can't serve the members of the LLC. They need to serve papers if they want to take the house.

NolaCola said...

I think tearing down this house and building some inferior modern POS would be a mistake and insult to the neighborhood. Maybe I see things with different eyes, but I moved to Anacostia because it is different and the character of the homes there contribute to that aspect. I hate seeing this house in its current state as much as the next person, but it would do us no good to leave an opening to put some foolishness in its place. It is a beautiful house and there should be a tax sale.

Golden Silence said...

That's a shame. I can see the potential of this space but it's just going to waste.

"has anyone tried to promote/market/label Anacostia as Sana Costia (little play on San Francisco)? "

You're trying too hard, dude. I hate when people try to give a place a cute/cool/trendy name to make it stand out. A place's character is more than its name.