The rowhouses were designed by Alfred B. Mullett, at one time the supervising architect for the Treasury Department. Known for flamboyant, sometimes controversial designs, he was the architect of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington and other federal buildings throughout the country.
By Benjamin C Tankersley | August 16, 2023 at 8:00 a.m. EST
In the 1890s, three Queen Anne-style Victorian rowhouses were built at Pennsylvania Avenue and 25th Street NW, near Rock Creek, that were taller, wider and more eye-catching than other residences in the neighborhood. Two of the three buildings, known as the Mullett Rowhouses, have become the main building of 2525 Penn, a 15-unit condominium complex with modern interiors but historical exterior features.
The Mullett Rowhouses, designed after he left the federal government, were red brick with large bays, arched windows, a turret and a mansard roof, according to the D.C. Preservation League.
Two rowhouses were renovated into the main condominium building, with 12 one- and two-bedroom units. A building on land once occupied by a carriage house, behind the main building, has three more units. This smaller building is entirely new but is also referred to as the carriage house.
Patrick Bloomfield, principal at PT Blooms Development, the 2525 Penn developer, explained some of the choices made to honor the original exterior design.
“We decided to keep the raw red brick color on the upper facade to preserve the look of the building,” Bloomfield said. “The arched windows were completely refurbished and replaced to restore them to their original glory, and the turret and mansard on the outside were completely replaced with new slate.”
The five-story main building has a lobby and retail space on the first floor. Condominium units are on the four floors above the lobby and have elevator access. The four-story carriage house has a garage with two parking spaces (both already sold) and bike storage on the first floor. It has a two-bedroom unit on the second floor, and there are two two-story units — a one-bedroom and a two-bedroom — on the floors above garage level. This building has no elevator.
The complex has two common areas for residents. A second-floor terrace with seating and planters is accessible to residents of the carriage house. A rooftop entertainment area at the main building, for all residents, has an outdoor terrace and an indoor kitchenette with a garage-door-style window that opens to a bar with seating. The outdoor terrace has additional seating, a firepit, a grill and a dog-washing station. The terrace has views of Washington and the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington, Va. Solar panels on the roof provide power to common areas of the building.
On the west side of the building is a sidewalk-to-rooftop mural by artist Ham Glass, who called it “an expression of movement through bright and colorful shapes and patterns.”
Floor plans vary, in part, because of the shape of the main building’s footprint. Each floor has a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit facing Pennsylvania Avenue. Most units have nine- or 10-foot ceilings, and unit 504 has a 27-foot ceiling in the kitchen, under a turret. All units have recessed lighting in most living spaces, LED-bar lighting in the bathrooms and pendant lights in the kitchens. All units have a full-size Whirlpool washer and dryer.
Kitchens have quartz countertops, and most have stainless-steel Bosch appliances, including a 30-inch gas range. Three two-bedroom units in the main building have an ASKO dishwasher set in the peninsula and a 36-inch range. Unit 504 has a Bosch dishwasher and a curved countertop under a bay window. Electrical outlets are under the upper cabinets so no outlets are in the tile backsplashes.
The homes facing Pennsylvania Avenue have an en suite bathroom with a shower in the primary bedroom suite and a bathroom with a tub-shower combo next to the living area. One-bedroom units in the middle of the main building — with windows on the west side — have one full bathroom with a shower. One-bedroom units at the rear of the building have a bathroom with a tub-shower combo. In the carriage house, two units have one full bathroom and one unit has a full bathroom and a powder room.
One-bathroom units have a Porcelanosa silver-striped tile shower surround, a white-tile floor and a single-sink vanity with a white-quartz countertop.
In two-bathroom units, the primary bathroom has a floating double-sink vanity with a quartz countertop. The frameless shower has a rain showerhead and a handheld showerhead, a Porcelanosa silver-striped tile shower surround and white-tile shower and bathroom floors. The other bathroom has a tub-shower combo, a single-sink vanity with a white-quartz counter and a gray-tile shower surround and floor.
West End near Georgetown. Rock Creek is less than a block away. Entrances to the C&O Trailhead Canal Towpath and the Rock Creek Trail are across the bridge on Pennsylvania Avenue.
The 2525 Penn complex is on the edge of the West End neighborhood, next to Georgetown. Trader Joe’s is a block away, and shops, restaurants, gyms and hotels are less than a half-mile away.
Elementary: School Without Walls at Francis-Stevens
Middle and High: Cardozo Education Campus
The Foggy Bottom-GWU Metrorail station, on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines, is less than half a mile away. Metrobus 31, 33 and 38B routes have a stop in front of the main building on Pennsylvania Avenue.
What Sets It Apart
“This is an opportunity to purchase a new-construction product in an historically preserved building,” said listing agent Jennie Mann, vice president at McWilliams Ballard. “New construction is rare in West End, and to have inventory in our price range is difficult to find.”
The interior designs “incorporate a classic warmness using wood tones as a focal feature throughout, said interior designer Krystel Bloomfield, owner of Leni Designs. “Overall, our goal was to have a refreshing take on blending classic and modern aesthetics that would still allow the home buyer room to give the space a personal touch.”