Blame half measures

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Hurricane Damage 2There is now tarp over the black house's facade and bright orange stickers were plastered on the doors of the yellow, black and fuscia colored houses. The other day I ran into someone I knew who lived around there and was more familiar with the history of those houses. It seems about 10 years ago the yellow house caught on fire and wasn't really repaired right. Then the person who owned the yellow house tried to sell it but could not. Maybe the rear deck, which a friend of my source said was wobbly, may have frightened away buyers. Anyway the owner, not being able to sell, rented it to students. So my source believes it was poor maintenance on the yellow house's part that took the other two houses with it. Townhome owners your houses are connected by more than that party wall.

We also talked about the condos in the structure on 5th and R, and the interior looks crazy. Like they have no clue as to what the heck they are doing crazy.

Absolutely unrelated DCMud has some architectural drawings related to the WonderBread factory on S Street.

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Normally, all-masonry structures are extremely solid, but bad craftsmen cut corners in the 1890's as well. Instead of tying wythes of bricks or adjoining walls together, they just slapped them together with mortar. I see examples of this all over Shaw.

I can't tell if that's the case here from the photo, but the fact that the crenelation made a fairly clean break from the party wall makes me think that it is.

Alternatively, if they didn't take care of the roof, water penetration could severely deteriorate the mortar of a well built wall over a few winters. The lack of maintenance in Shaw over the last 40 years is criminal.

Either way - I feel bad for the owners/occupants.

Mari, I think your "source" is misinformed. I'm the owner of the yellow house, and we think it could have been a tornado during the hurricane that hit the 3 houses. Or possibly they were weakened by the earthquake, allowing the hurricane to cause this damage. I've owned the house for 6 years and cannot speak to what may have happened before that (much less in the 1890s) but lack of maintenance is not to blame. The roof is relatively new and still in excellent shape despite the hurricane.

It's also not true that students live there, or that the house couldn't sell, but how is any of that relevant? My neighbors and I are now spending a good deal of time and money to fix our houses - which requires more than "half measures". Your source should just be glad it didn't happen to him/her.

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