Restaurants in The InTowner
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A Cleaning Service Ad

Marcus Moore Ad

Kerry Touchette Interiors Ad

Surburban Welding Company Ad

Rooming Houses ~ continued from January 2019 issue pdf page 1

To find a listing of the rooming houses in the city, DCRA maintains an accessible database; first click the option for License Category and then from in the drop down menu field find rooming houses. Among those listed in The InTowner’s reporting area are the following:

■ 2005 Columbia Road, NW; advertised as American Guest House and listed as a licensed bed and breakfast with a starting nightly rate of $209, this 12-bedroom Colonial-style home dates from 1893.

■ 1313 Harvard Street, NW; owned by Superior Services.

■ 1422 Harvard Street, NW; known in the neighborhood as a hostel.

■ 1353 Irving Street, NW; built in 1900 as a private home, this now small apartment house last sold 10 years ago $704,000.

■ 2420 K Street, NW; this four-unit, three-story 1935-built zone R5D Foggy Bottom multi-family building, has off-street parking for six cars.

■ 1329 Q Street, NW; this is a 2,000 square-foot multi-family home with four bedrooms and two baths, built in 1895, and assessed in 2014 at over $847.000.

Anna Cooper House on R Street just east of 14th. photo--Larry Ray--The InTowner.

Anna Cooper House on R Street just east of 14th. photo–Larry Ray–The InTowner.

■ 1338 R Street, NW; known as the Anna Cooper House in honor of the distinguished late 19th-early 20th century African-American scholar and anti-slavery advocate Anna J. Cooper, is owned by S.O.M.E.<> (So Others Might Eat) and being operated as an SRO providing affordable, long-term housing for residents needing housing and other assistance.

■ 2822-24 Sherman Avenue, NW; now serving as permanent, affordable Single Room Occupancy (SRO) for men operated by the Coalition for the Homeless.<>

■ 1727 Willard Street, NW; this 2,900 Square-foot, four bedroom, five bath house built in 1890 is valued at $1.6 million.

■ 3611-14th Street, NW; known in the neighborhood as the Tourist Hostel.

■ 2451 18th Street, NW; owned by Stephen G. Schutter, this facility started up in 2016 and is a member of the Adams Morgan Business Improvement District.


Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau shared the following thought with The InTowner: “The District has a rich history of diverse housing stock. Now, more than ever, we need options for housing at every income level and lifestyle to meet the growing demand and to address the increasing housing prices.” Maybe the terms “boarding houses” and “rooming houses” have worn out their welcome. The trend now is to use the terms “co-living,” “shared housing” or “communal living.” This trend reflects not only choices of Millennials but older persons seeking to save money and build a sense of community.

As for the communal living idea, consider properties like the historic Chastleton Apartments at 16th and R Streets, NW where its 300 co-op residents value the spacious common areas. Similarly, the residents of the Samuel J. Simmons NCBA Estates apartment building at 14th and Harvard Streets, NW.

And, while it might be a stretch to include the luxury Hepburn apartment building at 19th Street and Florida Avenue, NW behind the Washington Hilton  or The Residences at the Ritz Carlton at 22nd and M Streets, NW, in the idea of “community living,” am argument can be made. In their ads and marketing promotions, they highlight that residents will be spending little time in their apartments but instead in the common areas —  game room, library, business center, fitness center, rooftop pool and cabanas; that there will be arranged outdoor entertainment, pet washes and grilling stations.

All this suggests that the time has come for the DC government to recognize these communal living trends and instead of outdated regulations, recognize the need to re-think public policy leading to an encouraging regulatory environment.

*Larry Ray is a former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) in both Columbia Heights and Dupont Circle. He is a Senior Adjunct Professor at The George Washington University School of Law. He serves as the NextDoor Liaison for NE Columbia Heights neighborhood, NW.

Copyright © 2019 InTowner Publishing Corp. & Larry Ray. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited, except as provided by 17 U.S.C. §§107 & 108 (“fair use”).