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Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.


Design & Constructed 2004


Gordon and Carla Bremer




Full Services - Architect of Record

This restoration, renovation and addition to a 1900 Capitol Hill townhouse added a full basement, a partial 3rd floor as well as roof decks and a greenhouse. The design restored the front façade with the new 3rd floor recessed behind the existing turret keeping it from being seen from the street, a State Historic Preservation Office requirement. A new rear façade was designed relating to the surrounding neighborhood including the greenhouse visible from the rear. A new English Basement apartment was created using the existing lower-level entry under the front steps.

Most of the interior had been modified during a 1960's renovation and very few historic details remained. Due to the depth of the house, little light reached the center making it very dark. To open up the house a new 3-story light and stairwell was introduced bringing light down through all levels. A contemporary plan was developed with an open living/dining room in the front taking advantage of an existing fireplace. In the middle of the house a service core including pantry, half bath and an elevator separates the formal and informal spaces. Past this core a "great room" extends to the rear façade with a large eat in kitchen and a family room with fireplace all opening to the back yard. This room opens onto a landscaped garden and at the rear of the garden a new façade on the existing garage allows the four car garage to open into the garden for special occasions.

The new greenhouse's location, orientation, and height takes advantage of views of the dome of the nearby U.S. Capitol. Due to the sensitive nature of additions in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, the new 3rd floor greenhouse faced the rear (south) and a study faces north looking on the deck behind the turret.

As part of the process, KGP worked with local community Area Neighborhood Commissions and the Historic Preservation Review Board to develop appropriate solutions for exterior elevations.

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