1001 Irving Street NE.

UrbanTurf’s Unique Spaces series takes a look at properties that could be considered “one-of-a-kind” in the DC area. If you have a home that you think fits the bill, send an email toeditor2012@urbanturf.com. See all of our past Unique Spaces articles here.

DC is a city filled with traditional housing stock, largely made up of colonials, Tudors, bungalows and Federal townhouses. However, it is not known for circular-shaped homes.

Built in 1901 by John C. Louthan, 1001 Irving Street NE in Brookland is one of the few remaining octagonal houses in DC. (More round than octagonal, it is known as “the roundhouse” to its neighbors.) Louthan apparently built the home so that his wife, who was in a wheelchair, could more easily get around.


Living area and kitchen.

In its 110-year history, the home has had just four owners, but that will likely change in the coming weeks. Over the past 14 months, Ditto Residential, along with architect Chong Cao, has been transforming the home into a 2,400-square foot, four-bedroom house while maintaining the property’s unique design.


In order to more than triple the size of the original living space, the rear circumference of the home was pulled out by 12 feet to make for an expanded living and kitchen area. The curved rear addition now houses the four bedrooms, including a master suite.

The developers also opened up the space by replacing the home’s staircase. Originally, a spiral staircase dropped down from the second floor into the middle of the living room, and upstairs furniture had to be lifted through upper-level windows. The new house comes a custom-designed, four-foot metal staircase that leads up to a circular second-floor opening.


“Given the footprint of the home, we had to do something different,” Martin Ditto of Ditto Residential said of the renovations.

However, a number of original features remain. The exterior still has a porch that runs the circumference of the house, and the existing garden was preserved and enhanced by landscape architect Carolyn Mullet.


Under construction.

UrbanTurf was given a sneak peek of the roundhouse, but buyers on the hunt can check out the listing when it officially hits the market later this week. Pricing has yet to be finalized, but for more information see below.

Address: 1001 Irving Street NE (map)
For more information visit the DC Roundhouse website