Six years ago, urban designer Jeff Speck finished construction on a northwest Washington, D.C., house he designed for himself and his family. Now, the Specks are moving to Boston to be closer to family, so this New Urbanist's dream house is on the market.
The four-level, 2,160 square-foot "990 Club" house is sited on a triangular lot just up the street from the city's famous 930 Club concert venue—hence the nickname—and contains four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The Washington Post Magazine featured the house the year it was finished. TTR Sothebys International Realty is listing the house for $1.25 million.
Speck, who worked with Brie Husted on the house, says in an email that his favorite part is the house's triangular metal stair. "[Five] tons of raw 3/8-inch steel, lifted in by crane," he says. "All the weight rests on the inner rail—it's a dissociated spiral column. There's a steel plate under the basement floor to help hold it up."
Speck, a self-described "card-carrying New Urbanist," was director of town planning at Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. and then director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts. He has written several books on urban planning and design, including his most recent Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time (North Point Press, 2013).
He even brought up the house in a 2010 article in ARCHITECT: "Like many New Urbanists, I live in a Modernist house, but I don't let my personal style preference doom my clients—who are trying to sell smart growth to a stylistically conservative market. Nor do I think my preference is important."
Will Speck be designing his next house?
"I sure hope so... it depends on what kind of lot or fixer-upper we can find," he says over email.
In 2010, former senior editor Nigel F. Maynard visited Speck at the house. Watch the interview below.
This post has been updated to include the video.