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Blagden Alley and Naylor Court to be Featured on Logan Circle House Tour

By Parker Stanzione*

[Note: Photographs accompanying this news story in the print edition can be viewed in the full PDF copy in the Current & Back Issues Archive.]

The Logan Circle Community Association (LCCA) invites DC area residents and visitors to attend the 30 annual Logan Circle House Tour on Sunday, December 7th between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. The self-guided tour concludes with a Wassail reception hosted at the Long View Gallery, 1302 9th Street, NW from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. the day of the tour; and raffle prizes from local merchants.

This year the tour will include nine properties in the Logan Circle neighborhood with an emphasis on East Logan. As always, the properties offer a variety of architectural styles ranging from contemporary to Victorian.

“This year’s tour includes a commemoration of residential and commercial alley life in Washington, D.C.,” says Tim Christensen, 2008 House Tour Chairperson. “The city has a rich, diverse, and at times, tawdry tradition of alley living that tour-goers will have the opportunity to re-live.”

Four stops on the tour are located within or lead to the alleyways of the Blagden Alley/Naylor Court Historic District. Once a labyrinth of dwellings, stables, and trades workshops, the alleys were once considered the city’s underbelly. In addition to being the site of much renovation, the alleys are now home to the DC Archives, Office of Public Records and a number of new art galleries and small businesses.

Included on tour will be an 1880s carriage house on Naylor Court that has been transformed into a contemporary jewel. The interior of the one-bedroom, two-bath home is all the more remarkable given the building’s history. Across the court lies a property that has not undergone significant modernization; it serves as the tour’s historical museum for the day and will be staffed by authorities on alley living in DC.

Around the corner on 10th Street is an 1891 Victorian that was purchased in 1987 for $56,000 and bought the owners little more than a shell — merely a four-story atrium with no roof. Other than a few original floor joists, the entire house is new construction using $50,000 in salvaged architectural antiques found through eBay and from scouring antique and junk stores.

For a more modern view of what’s happening in the Logan Circle area, guests can visit the Bladgen Alley studio of master printmaker David Adamson (David and wife Laurie own the Adamson Gallery on nearby 14th Street), a pied-a-terre on M Street, and two penthouse homes on Massachusetts Avenue that offer a sleek and elegant addition to the Logan neighborhood. These contemporary high-rises are comprised of brick, glass and steel. Residents have the benefit of one of the most spectacular views of the city from the rooftop terrace. Offering 360-degree views, the rooftop has a swimming pool, a grilling area, and generous entertainment space.

*The writer is a Logan Circle resident and serves on the house tour planning committee as its communications director.

How and Where to Obtain Tickets

Tickets are available for purchase for $15 in advance through LCCA’s website (www.LoganCircle.org) and at the following locations: Azi’s Café (1336 9th St.), Barrel House Liquors (1341 14 St.), Home Rule (1807 14 St.), Lambda Rising Bookstore (1625 Conn. Ave.), and Logan Hardware (1416 P St.). Tickets purchased via the website will be held at will-call to be picked up on the day of the event at 1324 Vermont Avenue. Tickets will also be sold after 12:30pm on the day of the tour for $20 at that location and at Azi’s. For more information, call (202) 641-6934. The event is accessible via the Mt. Vernon Square/7th Street/Convention Center and the McPherson Square Metro stations. Exit McPherson Square to purchase or pick up tickets.

Copyright (c) 2008 InTowner Publishing Corp. & Parker Stanzione. All rights reserved.