Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection

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Living At The Valley Vista: Funky to Fabulous

My first real home when I moved to Washington was The Valley Vista, a formerly funky apartment building at 2032 Belmont Road NW.

I started off in a 500 square foot “efficiency”, with a closet the size of my New York City bedroom.  It was on the back of the building, overlooking rooftops of the row houses on Ashmead Place and a beautiful red bud tree.

After a year or so, I sucked up to the resident manager, good old Mrs. Willick, who found me an amazing one-bedroom on the front, overlooking Rock Creek Park, the National Cathedral and the Taft Bridge.  It had a separate dining room, and a solarium.   I was in heaven!

Then, one day in the late 1970’s, we got notices in the mail that the building was going condo and we could buy our units or move out.

Yikes!

The feisty tenants got organized, hired a couple of mad dog lawyers, and we somehow managed to buy the building and develop it ourselves.  It was not a pretty process.  The building renovations were extensive and messy.  And there were many different ideas about how things should be done.  It was sort of like getting health care reform through Congress!.  But in the end it worked, and about half of us (including me) were able to purchase our apartments way below current market value. 

As we went through the conversion process, we learned a lot about the building and some of its former tenants.  Soon after it opened back in 1929, some poor idiot lost all his money in the stock market and threw himself off the lovely roof deck.  After his family sued, the owners closed the roof deck, and it's never re-opened.   Carly Simon lived there before she was famous, but she declined to help out when we wrote and asked if she'd do a benefit concert.  Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows lived in a huge apartment over the lobby.   And just before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, their ambassador lived on the top floor. 

The Valley Vista got me into real estate.  During the conversion, I helped out in the sales office showing buyers the units that were available.  When my job in the Carter Administration ended, I got licensed to sell and started my new career.  My very first settlement was on Unit 205 at, yes,  the Valley Vista.

The Valley Vista has always been a wonderful place to live.  First, the views are just stunning.  I mean duh-uh!  That’s why it’s called the Valley Vista.  It’s near the Woodley Park Metro, great restaurants in Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle, and Rock Creek Park is at the front door.  Recently, the lobby was renovated and the halls redone. 

The building has about 170 units, ranging from studios, one and two bedroom units.  Most of them have solariums. 

Evers & Company currently has Unit 110 listed, a 1400 square foot 2-bedroom with it’s own entrance.  For more information or to arrange to see this building, call me at 202-549-5167.

Comment balloon 9 commentsPatricia Kennedy • March 31 2010 10:49PM

Comments

Hello Pat and this community looks and sounds very interesting, thanks for the information!

Vegas Bob

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) over 9 years ago

Hi Pat ~ Such a great story - and such a great building!  Very cool.

Liz

Posted by Elizabeth Bolton, Cambridge MA Realtor (RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA) over 9 years ago

Steve, it was a fun place to live, and I still have many friends there.

And Liz, it's funny that I'm starting to feel a little nostalgic about the place!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 9 years ago

A great history of Patricia and...the Valley Vista!  You've got me thinking about my favorite mexican restaurant in Adams Morgan.  I'll have to check to see if it's still there!  

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) over 9 years ago

Laura, which one is it?  It may be my favorite, too!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 9 years ago

you go girl! I love this post! Now we have a little more history of Patricia Kennedy as well as of DC!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 9 years ago

you go girl! I love this post! Now we have a little more history of Patricia Kennedy as well as of DC!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 9 years ago

Thank you for this great piece on the Valley Vista!  Could you share with me where you found the historical information, especially about the suicide?  I'm becoming an amateur historian in the building :)

Posted by Eden Savino over 8 years ago

Eden,

I lived there for about ten years in the 70's and early 80's.  At that time, many of the very long time residents were still alive and well and remembering the Valley Vista's past.  Also, the old building manager, a dragon lady who we fired as soon as we bought the building, was a great sourse of history - she'd been there forever.  I was on the tenant's association board for a couple of years during the transition to condo - until I couldn't take it anymore!   If Rene Altman is still in the building, she probably has a lot of the information, both pre and post conversion.  You could also check out the Washingtoniana section at the MLK library or the DC Historical Society. 

Good luck on your quest!  She's a great old building.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 8 years ago

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