Tucked away in a quiet corner of Historic Foggy Bottom is one of the district’s best-kept secrets. Through a wrought-iron gate on New Hampshire Avenue lies the row-home style condominiums of Foggy Bottom Mews, a community laden with a charm and character all its own. Entering the brick courtyard of the small 14-unit complex, the shade of the tall row of homes creates a muted atmosphere that can only be described as a hushed surrealism in the middle of the nation’s capital.
I think it’s awesome, said senior Will Nitsky, who has lived in the Mews for two years. The seclusion, the neat corners, the idea that you’re living in a closed community even though when you walk outside you’re right by the Metro stop.
Senior Dov Benjamin Wisnia, a senior who moved into the Mews this year, also commented on the location of the complex.
One of the things I love about Foggy Bottom Mews is the location, he said. We’re one block from the Metro. A 15-minute walk up New Hampshire (Avenue) and you’re in DuPont (Circle).
Nitsky said the area has more of a European feel than one of modern American.
The first time I came here I was like, `this is London,’ he said. It’s more like England than anywhere else.
According to The New Merriam-Webster Dictionary, mews are stables usually with living quarters built around a court, also a narrow street with dwellings converted from stables. Foggy Bottom Mews apparently fits neither description, but has a charm all its own, said Carolyn Uanis, the managing agent of the complex.
They fit into the neighborhood even though they were built in 1977, she said. The access is by foot, so you’re not facing a street.
This positioning, Uanis said, provides for more quiet and peaceful surroundings. Since the complex was built more recently than much of the housing in Foggy Bottom, the Mews houses are a little larger and have all the modern amenities, she said.
Structurally, the houses of Foggy Bottom Mews are also unique. The complex stands three stories high and units have two to three bedrooms and one or two bathrooms. Half the units have rooftop decks and the other half are equipped with fireplaces and concrete terraces off the living room area, Uanis said.
The uniqueness is that they’re all not identical, Uanis said, adding that the window placements and floor plans vary from house to house.
It has all the benefits of condominium living combined with the benefits of living in a house, Uanis said. It’s a townhouse, but we’re able to share the landscaping and the upkeep of the outside.
Wisnia said the Mews is unique to apartment-style living.
It’s a house, it’s not an apartment, he said. This is our home. An apartment can be home too, but this is different.
Wisnia said he doesn’t miss buzzing people up to his room like residents in apartments do.
Prochilo said the best part is the Muse’s location.
I think it’s really cute, she said. It’s the little area that no one really knows is here.
This article appeared in the September 25, 2000 issue of the Hatchet.