Monday, September 20, 2004

Tobacco Factory

Traveled along the Urban Land Company's parade of homes tour yesterday with the troop from the fortress of tea and dirty laundry. We saw about 4 places, walked in 3. We hit the tail end of the tour, so some were closing up when we arrived. Quite a few were not completed. Meaning, there where still holes in the walls and ceilings for the ducts and electrical outlets. We did see some cool funky stuff.
The house at 1911 6th Street, did something with the kitchen. They put a wall up, but it doesn't go all the way up. Oh and the kitchen is small. Very small. As it was unfinished, it was hard to imagine how the walk-in closets would be walk-in. We could walk in them, but there were no racks or shelves. The bottom unit was also odd. Both the bedrooms have doors that lead out to the patio.
The bottom unit of 444 S St was tiny. Teeny. It was like a studio apartment. I think it's a junior bedroom. You walk in and there is the kitchen, and then the bedroom. Good for people who don't want to buy a couch. Unless you want to cook on the couch.
Lastly we all wound up at the main attraction, the Tobacco Factory, where there has never been a factory of any sort. The reviews I have heard from others, including the fortress crew has been mixed. Of course one fortress member's reaction was *slobber*. The Factory is four levels divided into half. The top was available for viewing. Points should be given to the Urban Land Company staff just for presentation. The reviews I have heard were, all the others were less impressive, so by the time you get to the furnished and finished top level of the Factory condo, it is a great improvement.
The best home we saw yesterday was not on the Urban Land Company's tour. It was across the street. The August In Shaw house [note link changed 5/55/13]of the week owners let the troop in for a tour after running into them at the Factory. Oh my G-d. They did a wonderful job. The house is still in various stages of repair, but the layout is truly amazing and actually understands the limits and needs of a small townhome. One party of the couple fixing the place up is a German designer and the house is a reflection of a European sensibility. The first floor is very open. The top floors are where it begins to look more European, reminding me of some flats I have seen in London. It continues to be open at the landing and doesn't have that cramped feeling that you can get in DC townhomes. It also brings in a fair amount of light.
Talking with the owner, a problem they encountered was trying to get people to understand the concept of say the box bathroom. This is a bathroom sits on the level like a big ole box, where the top does not go all the way to the high ceilings, so that light from the outside can go over the bathroom, into the bathroom, and into the adjoining room. The other problem were contractors who don't show up on time, on time meaning 1 hour from the time they said they'd show. All the time spent waiting they decided to do many things themselves.
I want their house. It is sooooooo cooool.

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