Sunday, March 19, 2006

Streets of Del Ray

I did some more exploring in the neighborhood today. I didn't find nearly as many "freak show" houses as last time, to my disappointment. I actually gave up trying to photograph every good example of smart, small bungalows, because they truly are everywhere. But I hope you enjoy more from the streets where I live. I added a few more commercial examples, since many of them have interesting styles and features. Come and visit Del Ray, and I'll show you.

The Gold Bond Portable Chapel; a kit-built church


Easily the most modern-looking house in Del Ray, and an enormous amount of glass for this size home

Typical Del Ray bungalow, but I liked the sailboat emblem on the screen door

A good example of the most popular type of addition in Del Ray; the house footprint stays the same or close to it, the owners just extrude new rooms out of the roof

The Half House; the address is even 2705 1/2 Mount Vernon Avenue

Art Deco style commercial style building on Mount Vernon, now housing a church

Detail on the central 2nd story window, a representation of the Chrysler Building

The Heavy-Lidded House; I can't imagine why the eaves on this house are so large

The Twins. Clearly these two homes were built to the same plans, but have evolved in slightly different ways

The new addition to the Duncan Branch Library

...and the original Duncan Library building

The Caboose that Got Loose. At the Mount Vernon Community School
Though it seems to be a home, I'm almost certain this was originally a commercial structure, maybe a restaurant

Nice house with excellent landscaping

There are many churches in Del Ray, though most are quite small. A few larger churces are located just to the west along Russell Road, which puts them on a bluff above the houses. This particular steeple stands out strikingly at sunset

Interesting use of some different angles. This house also abuts right up against its neighbor to the right

I think the large octagon rooms inside the tower must be very interesting. What would you use them for?

Another of the small, eccentric parks that pierce through residential blocks in Del Ray

Traditional home meets alternative power

In bloom

This house makes me think of Beth & Ryan's wedding, since green and purple were their wedding colors

Del Ray Methodist Church. Easily the biggest church in Del Ray. I want to see the interior; the rose window must be really impressive

Another trend I've noticed in Del Ray additions - window craziness. They may be very nice inside, but I think they give the exterior an unattractive, disjointed appearance

This building was just refurbished and converted into bank, though I do not know what it was before. It looks like it should have always been a bank

Another roof extrusion. I've been watching this site, since the pre-fabricated roof trusses were delivered a few weeks ago Posted by Picasa

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can't talk with my mouth full said...

Hey, if you do any more of these posts in the future, you should split it into more bite-size entries so I can more easily comment on the individual projects.

Lots of construction in the neighborhood, huh?

Dan said...

Well, that's why I try to give the interesting houses names, so they are easier to recall and specify when you make comments. Which, you seem to have done this time with remarkable speed - I didn't even have time to get all the commentary and captions done

quickdraw mcgraw said...

Well, I haven't taken the time to comment yet - I just whined. I got home from shopping & laundry, and I guess I happened to catch you in the act. Stay tuned for building comments at some point...

Matt Boulanger said...


For another take on the urban and suburban landscape, I just happened upon the other day- corporate architecture gone wild? Also, have you been to They have a nice gallery of good and bad projects, though the scope is generally more planning-related as opposed to individual structures.

eternaljv said...

Hey Matt, how's Montana treating you?

I found and . On the former, I like the KFC -> liquor store conversion, or that "Best of Philly" place that even had the cahones to re-use the Taco Bell sign. The taco bell, Liberty Bell - they're all the same...

Commenter99 said...

Gold Bond Chapel - kind of a weird foundation. The entry stair is kind of neat, though it could use a more interesting railing.

Grayskull - is that a house, and is that the main entry or the back door?

The Most Modern-Looking House in Del Ray - meh. Needs more...something.
House Of Many Angles - nice use of materials. And no garage! Rare for a house that size that obviously has been added onto multiple times. Even the driveway is on an angle.

Octagon House - yuck. That tower roof is way top-heavy and the kick at the bottom is too small; too bad because the rest of the house has okay proportions. Windows look okay, then boom, there's an irregularity right in the front of the new tower.

Small Eccentric Parks - I like this decentralized approach to green space in urban areas. It makes it more accessible.

Solar Power House - nice stonework. Does Virginia offer big taxbreaks or incentives for solar power generation? The server is fully solar-powered made possible by California's extensive solar subsidies.

Purple 'n' Green House - I like the siding material.

Methodist Church - I too wonder what the interior is like. I finally managed to go inside Winooski's big twin-steeple church a while back. It was okay, but the lack of natural light didn't help.

Window Craziness House - actually those windows are fairly orderly in terms of placement, but the sizes are all over the place. There are worse offenders out there.

The Bank That Used To Be A Bank - good job by the renovators. And nice masonry details.

Another Roof Extrusion - better than the other one, but that's damning with faint praise.

obsessive said...

Some of my middle comments got lost somehow, so because I must comment on every single one...

Sailboat-On-The-Door Bungalow - What's up with those windows in the dormer? Looks like the dividing muntins are made of toothpaste.

Roof Extrusion I - People should know better than this. Tragic, really.

Half House - screams "young architect." I'll bet there are some interesting space usage things going on inside, efficient like a ship. Look at the retaining wall to the right. Though I do see that the roof is slightly asymmetrical, which throws me.

Art Deco Church - awesome accent window. Good pick up.

Heavy-Lidded House - overhangs that wide are common on bungalows and craftsman-style houses. What makes this one look odd is the two full stories underneath, which make it a conflict of vertical emphasis on the wall forms and horizontal emphasis on the roof form.

The Twins - I have a couple pairs like that in my town.

Duncan Branch Library - |sarcasm|The original library building used to be a power substation. Or an artillery outpost. Certainly it couldn't have been intended to be a library.|/sarcasm| The addition is okay, certainly an improvement. The railings on the stair up to the entry are interesting. $10 says that an arch. intern snuck those onto the drawings.

Loose Caboose - is that part of the building, or in the playground, or just for show for some reason (is the school near the trainyard?)

Home née Restaurant - I like. Those look like maybe copper panels over the storefront windows, and there may be a roof garden which would be really fantastic.

Nice House With Excellent Landscaping - someone wants to live in the country.

Dan said...


That is the front entry of Castle Grayskull, and it is a home.

The House of Many Angles has an angled driveway since the lot is at the edge of the standard grid of Del Ray, were it meets the angled Commonwealth Avenue.

Octagon Tower House is also quite thin, which you can't see in the picture. It's all off-balance.

I think there is a tax credit for installing energy saving features to your home in Virginia.

The "toothpaste muntins" on the sailboat emblem house are caused by some really lazy painting.

I buy your theory on the half house; I'd like to see the insides, now.

The Twins are only one example of this phenomenon - I know of at least two other spots in the neighborhood where originally identical houses are side-by-side

The Caboose that Got Loose is in a Park/Playground by the elementary school