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Mt. Vernon Triangle House Tour Features New Buildings

By Bill McLeod*

[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 Mt. Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District (MVTCID) invites residents and visitors to its inaugural Mt. Vernon Triangle House Tour on Sunday, May 17th, from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Mt. Vernon Triangle is a neighborhood being rebuilt on the east end of downtown. The area, once replete with parking lots and empty buildings, is being built out with new condos, apartments, offices, and retailers.

The house tour is designed to showcase privately owned condos and lofts that have recently opened in this emerging neighborhood. Organized in the “open house” style, the tour allows visitors to peek into the lives of these new homeowners throughout the afternoon. The tour includes eight properties around Mt. Vernon Triangle highlighting a range of buildings and units in the neighborhood — from a two-bedroom sprawling penthouse to a one-bedroom unit incorporating space-saving techniques.

Some of the buildings included on the tour are 555 Mass, The Sonata, The Madrigal Lofts, and The L. At the end of the tour, visitors are invited to reconnect with friends and recharge with tea and cookies on Vista Green, the one-acre private park on the roof of CityVista.

The condo owner in the Madrigal Lofts has a love for glasswork as evident in her art collection. Original glass paintings by Massimo Cruciani hang in the living room, master bedroom, and front hall. A glass wave sculpture by surfer and artist Dave Wight sits in the corner of the den, where the light from the floor to ceiling windows refracts through the glass like ocean water.

The L building is featuring owners who have collected artifacts from their travels around the world and made it work in their contemporary home. With family roots in Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan, there are hints of Middle Eastern and Eastern European culture scattered around the modern space. The living room furniture was purchased in Kuwait. The lanterns were purchased during time spent in Morocco. Additional art from Kuwait, London, Bratislava, and Afghanistan hang on walls around the unit.

Ten-foot high ceilings make storage space abundant in the Sonata. And it doesn’t hurt that the owner is an interior designer too. Space-saving ideas abound in this efficiently designed one-bedroom condo where you will see an office tucked away in the closet of the master bedroom — alongside a wine chiller to store their libations. The bathroom mirror flips around to become a medicine cabinet. Large windows lend to a feeling of openness in the living and eating space, as do sliding glass doors between the living area and bedroom. Even the cat has its box hidden beneath the bathroom sink.

This inaugural tour benefits Strive DC, a life-skills and job training organization at 8th and H Streets, NE, and would not be possible without the sponsorship of 5th Street Ace Hardware, Busboys and Poets, Safeway, MRP Realty, Quadrangle/Wilkes Company, Lowe at CityVista, and Steuart Investment Company,.

*The writer is the Executive Director of the Mt. Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District. He can be contacted at (202) 661-7590 or mvtbill@downtowndc.org.

How and Where to Obtain Tickets

Tickets are available for purchase for $15 in advance at 5th Street Ace Hardware (1055 5th St., NW) or on-line at www. mountvernontriangle.org. Tickets purchased on-line will be held at the Will Call table in front of 5th Street Ace Hardware to exchange for the tour booklet. Tickets will also be available for sale at $20 on the day of the tour at this location. For more information, call (202) 661-7590.

Copyright (c) 2008 InTowner Publishing Corp. & Mt. Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District. All rights reserved.