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D.C. Carriage House Transformed Into Urban Supper Club

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Project Description

Carriage House Collaboration
A Team Approach Transforms a Derelict Building into a Home and Urban Supper Club

Blagden Alley is a historic district in downtown Washington, D.C. Structures there date from the mid- to late nineteenth century. The original community mixed the affluent and the working class in close quarters. Alley dwellings often included stables, carriage houses, and other working class hangouts. With time, the alleys became overcrowded and unsanitary. The conditions in this alley, among others, led Eleanor Roosevelt to champion the cause of the city’s poor in the early twentieth century.  
Fast-forward to today. Once, two row houses fronted this downtown D.C. property, and the carriage house stood at the back of the lot next to the alley. The row houses were lost to time, but the carriage house remains. The Huntress Coal Oil sign painted on the exterior is an homage to Samuel Huntress, a traveling coal oil salesman believed to have built the structure in 1900.

When Anna and Dan Kahoe purchased the property, a new vision for the future of the carriage house formed. The couple worked with Shawn Buehler, an architect with Bennett Frank McCarthy Architects, Inc. “Initially, there was an industrial shop on the first floor and an apartment on the second floor. The two weren’t connected; they didn’t speak to each other at all,” explains Buehler.

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