Washington Post Steps Inside Chapman Stables

A onetime home for horses in Northwest Washington will have 114 condos in place of stalls

April 3 at 6:30 AM

At Chapman Stables, a 114-unit condo building in Northwest Washington, condominiums are priced from the low $300,000s to $1,034,900. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

For more than 100 years, the building at 57 N St. NW in the District has been home to a wide variety of tenants, including horses, cars, hot dog carts, art studios and antiques.

Now, the Truxton Circle building is undergoing a transformation into Chapman Stables, a 114-unit condo building that gives a nod to its past while looking to the future.

When we looked at the building, it had been vacant for a few years and had empty lots behind it, says John Sunter with Four Points in Washington, the developer of Chapman Stables. We had this vision of bringing life and pedestrian activity to all sides of the building, not just N Street.

A restaurant to be named Republic Cantina will be at one end of the building, with a glass wall and a patio. Across the front of the building, the sidewalk will be extended from the rowhouses on either side of the condo building. The back of the building has been designed with another pedestrian entrance to the building from Hanover Place.

We took clues from Blagden Alley in Shaw and realized that Hanover Place is wide enough to become an active pedestrian area, Sunter said. Were extending the sidewalk and planting trees on the street along Hanover Place.

The neighborhood and architectural elements of Chapman Stables drew the attention of Jerry Lin, a buyer at the new condo.

Id been looking off-and-on for a while since Ive outgrown my studio in Foggy Bottom, and my boyfriend will be moving here from New York soon, Lin said. I was looking at older buildings because I liked the idea of renovating a place, but when I saw Chapman Stables, I could see that it had lots of historic character.

Lin looked at renderings and took a hard-hat tour before choosing his condo. Historic building: Four Points hired Studio 27 Architects to renovate and convert the stables, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, into condos and to design an attached modern building. The Chapman Coal Co., built in 1906, included a coal yard and an office, in addition to stables for the horses that delivered the coal, Sunter said. Chapman later converted the space to the first commercial garage in the city. Although the most recent use of the building was as a warehouse for the Brass Knob antiques store, the building still has original industrial elements from its earlier iterations, such as a three-story car lift apparatus in the lobby and 100-year-old brick walls with the etching of arched horse windows still visible.

We wanted to keep the historical touchpoints that show the adaptive reuse of both a stable and a garage, Sunter said.

hapman Stables is a horseshoe-shaped building that surrounds a central courtyard, which will have trees and a trough-like fountain at one end.

The green of the courtyard will be visible from numerous parts of the building and will be the first thing people see when they step through the front door and look through a two-story glass wall on the other side of the lobby, Sunter said.

A rooftop pavilion with a kitchen, dining and seating areas will have views of the top of the Capitol building and the Washington Monument, as well as the city skyline through walls of glass. Outside the pavilion will be a rooftop terrace with a gas grill.

In addition to those two main areas, the building will have seating in the lobby and a club room on the main level adjacent to the retail space. Republic Cantina, a Tex-Mex restaurant, will open in that space.


The sleek, linear kitchen has two-tone glossy cabinets along one wall and opens into an open living and dining area. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Industrial chic: The condos, priced from the low $300,000s to more than $1 million, include a majority of smaller units, Sunter said.

We think our customers will appreciate living in an urban environment and will spend more time in the city than at home, Sunter said. We designed some larger units, too, though.

About 25 percent of the condos are sold, even as the building is still under construction.

The condos in the historic building include elements of the steel beams and pipes that Sunter said are like art pieces in the midst of the units, as well as original brick walls. Reclaimed bricks were used to build exposed brick walls in the hallways of the new building.

A handful of loft units, constructed on top of the original stable building but invisible from N Street, include an open main level for living and dining and an upper-level master bedroom with a cathedral ceiling and access to a private terrace overlooking the courtyard.

Lin chose a unit in the new building with a patio facing the courtyard because he enjoys the quiet of the courtyard at his current condo in Foggy Bottom.

Several lower-level units in the new building will have private patios carved out of the courtyard; units at the back of the new building on the lower level will have private patios facing Hanover Place. Some of the upper-level units in the new building have terraces and some are also two-level units with a spiral staircase to the bedroom level.

Unit 106 has 780 square feet and is priced at $499,900. This condo has a sleek, linear kitchen with two-tone glossy cabinets along one wall and opens into an open living and dining area. The kitchen will include a mobile island that residents can use to create an L-shaped kitchen, extend the galley kitchen or move to the dining area for tableside guacamole, Sunter said.


The condos have barn doors, transom windows, 9- to 11-foot-high ceilings and hardwood flooring. (Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post)

Each unit will include an architectural element with dramatic barn siding that opens to reveal a closet and mechanical equipment, an element that Sunter refers to as a little bit of country in the city. A transom window above the adjacent bedroom is revealed when the barn door to the room slides shut. This unit in the historic building includes an exposed brick wall and a large rusted steel beam adjacent to the kitchen. The condo includes a large walk-in closet with a stacked washer and dryer and porcelain hexagon-patterned flooring in the bathroom, which has a glass-enclosed shower, a floating vanity and a wall-mounted toilet for a modern look.

One of the two-bathroom condos has a combination tub and shower in one.

The largest model, Unit 525, has 1,382 square feet and is priced at $1,034,900. This two-level unit has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and an open kitchen, and a living and dining area on the lower level. A spiral staircase leads to a bedroom and bathroom with an adjacent private roof terrace.

The building will have a concierge, a mailroom with package services and storage units.

One thing I also like about Chapman Stables is that its a pet-friendly building, and my boyfriend and I plan to get a greyhound after we move in, Lin said.

Whats nearby: Sunter calls Truxton Circle the hole in the doughnut of development in surrounding areas, including City Center to the south, Shaw to the west, Bloomingdale to the north and NoMa to the east. Residents can walk to a Harris Teeter and a soon-to-open Trader Joes, as well as Union Kitchen grocery, along with numerous coffee shops and restaurants such as Big Bear Cafe, Catania Bakery, the Wydown Coffeehouse, the Pub and the People, and Union Square Cafe.

Schools: Walker-Jones Education Campus, Dunbar High School.

Transit: Residents are less than one mile from the NoMa/Gallaudet Metro station for Red Line service and the Mount Vernon Square/Seventh Street/Convention Center Metro station for Green and Yellow line service. Several bus routes also serve the neighborhood.

Chapman Stables

57 N St. NW, Washington

The condominiums are priced from the low $300,000s to $1,034,900.

Builder: Four Points

Features: The condos have barn doors, transom windows, 9- to 11-foot-high ceilings, hardwood flooring, sleek kitchens with high-gloss lacquered cabinets, Silestone counters, stainless-steel appliances, movable center islands, a stacked washer and dryer, energy-efficient windows and Nest programmable thermostats. Some units have private outdoor space. Parking in the underground garage costs $40,000 for a standard space and $50,000 for a full-size space.

Bedrooms/bathrooms: 0 to 3 / 1 to 3

Square footage: About 450 to 1,382

Condominium association fees: $233 to $789 per month

View models: Open by appointment.

Contact: Valerie Grange, a sales manager with McWilliams|Ballard, at 202-309-1964, or visit chapmanstables.com.