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East End News

O Street project will revamp entire block

Today, June 11, is the 140th anniversary of when James Netherwood bought a lot on O Street. This summer should see the renovation of the stretch of 8 houses that he built between 25th and 26th Street.

Golden Hammer-nominated Deanna Lewis is taking on a new project with the renovation of the entire south side of the 2500 block of O Street, much of which has been vacant since the 1960s.

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Photo via bing.com
Photo via bing.com
Photo July 2011 via Google
Photo July 2011 via Google

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Lewis says, “I’ve been putting this project together for 7 months and in all that time I couldn’t come up with a name that fit the development. After discovering that he was indeed the builder, honoring him and naming the development, “Netherwood’s” feels perfect.”

“I knew Netherwood owned/was selling them in the 1890s and had a feeling he was the builder because they have granite block foundations. Who builds a working man’s house with granite? A guy with a granite quarry. Netherwood owned a granite quarry (which is now the Willow Oaks Country Club).”

“He built those little O Street houses for his workers and families and the general store to supply them.”

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o st original porch remnant
Original porch remnant

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“The goal is to work with the City and make the block look like the 1870’s,” explains Lewis. “The arborist has six trees waiting for us, we’ll work at installing old fashioned street lights, remove that ugly light pole in the middle and we’ll use the old photos and one surviving porch as a template to recreate the facade.”

Netherwood was the builder responsible for Old City Hall, the Mann/Netherwood block of homes on Broad, the Confederate Soldiers & Sailors monument, the Lee monument, and the Howitzers monument. His marker at Oakwood Cemetery is even monumental.

The 2500 block of O Street is part of the Church Hill North Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places, but not the city’s Church Hill North Old & Historic District.

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General Store (1950s)
General Store (1950s)

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o street

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O Street - 2523 and 2521
2523 and 2521 O Street

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O Street 2517
2517 O Street

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O Street 2515 - 2513 and 2511
2515, 2513, 2511 O Street

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O Street - 2519

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james netherwood

james netherwood obit

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o st kitchen draft

o st right view

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This building may have been vacant since 1966 | Church Hill People's NewsNetherwoods renovations taking shape on O Street ‹ CHPNchpnBetter Housing Coalition821 North 25th Street (1950s) ‹ CHPN Recent comment authors

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Karen
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Karen

Very nice! Can’t wait to see the finished product!

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Magneto
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Magneto

It looks great! I’m really hoping the new owners choose to keep the storefront space at N. 26th Street and O Street as a non-residential use. It has R-63 zoning, which includes several by-right commercial uses that could serve this area of the neighborhood well.

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Queen Mum
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Queen Mum

This is GREAT, I have always loved this block.

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Mr. Neal
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Mr. Neal

Very well planned; this is only a few blocks from my childhood home.

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Lee
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Lee

I love the addition (reconstruction?) of a storefront/mirror image building at the left end of the row. Glad to see someone is restoring them – they are nifty little buildings. I also wonder if they will reopen the tunnel/passageway that runs through the middle of the block? One of the homes in the middle is wider/projects over the tunnel – you can tell if you look at the windows (the tunnel runs “through” the house that has an “extra” upstairs window) You can see the arch underneath still, though it’s been bricked up – and if you walk around the… Read more »

Elaine Odell
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This is super good news, Deanna. I drove by just yesterday & noticed something was up at 2525 O St. I’ve always admired that corner commercial location. Didn’t know the history of the adjacent residential structures till now. You go girl!

BAF
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BAF

I live around the corner and am thrilled that these homes are finally being renovated. Now if they can do something with the decrepit house at 25th and O where the owners died 10 years ago, it would be outstanding!

Next Friend
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Next Friend

A positive and transformational project to be applauded!

jeanne bridgforth
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Only Deanna could pull this off, collecting the properties from often pretty difficult trails, and not the least bit intimidated by the enormous amount of work and care it will take to renovate such badly deteriorated structures. She has a great track record on the Hill and this unique, historic block has been delivered to caring and competent hands. Cheers!

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Jennifer D
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Jennifer D

Wow, what’s to dislike about this? I’m sure if I check back in the comments stream in a couple of days I’ll find out… 😉

P.Mayo
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P.Mayo

This is amazing news!

BAC
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BAC

Seems like weekly there’s another great story like this. Thanks to those that are making such a commitment to the area.

Lee
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Lee

@ Jennifer – really? I mean, we’re all opinionated, but I don’t think there’s anything to complain about. A few people have expressed hopes and desires for the project, but I think it’s clearly a win for the neighborhood, regardless of the specifics.

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Deanna ~ Heirloom Restorations
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Deanna ~ Heirloom Restorations

Jennifer – thanks for the smile. I’m too am hopeful that the dialogue remains positive. You’re right, what’s not to like? 😉 Lee. The tunnel… random??? No! That is one of the coolest details. I will be opening it up again. 2519 & 2517 fit together like a puzzle. The back bedroom of 2519 covers the back of the tunnel, the 2517 bedroom covers the front. And yes, the intent is to build a home the mirror image of the store, in size, on the vacant lot. The facade will look like the smaller homes, just bigger. I Googled “Baltimore… Read more »

Don O'Keefe
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This looks great. I do wish the corner would be retained as retail of some kind. Still, its wonderful. I see the relationship with Baltimore and also with alleys like Quince Street in Philadelphia. Mid Atlantic Cities Unite!
https://www.google.com/search?q=quince+street+philadelphia&safe=off&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=VKqZU8_iNILjoASutIBw&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAg&biw=1422&bih=888&dpr=0.9

laura
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laura

Deanna…congratulations and best wishes on this restoration. I’m not familiar with these structures; are they considered to be one bay? I’ve never seen anything quite like them. At first glance, they appear to be a bit chaotic simply because of the usual symmetry that prevails throughout the area. However, there seems to be order when they’re viewed as a whole. Possibly, the porch reconstruction along with window and door selections, and soffit treatments can restore order. They look like a fun project. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

Sandra Lubbers
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Lee
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Lee

@Deanna – that’s awesome! Also, I think your Baltimore photo link kind of shows what I mean, though those are still big. Also, it’s really common to have a passage of some sort through the building/row in Baltimore, though usually the extra space is split down the middle upstairs. The tunnel solves the whole “waterhouse/spigot in the backyard, flower beds in the front yard d@mn this rowhouse!” problem. Or worse, the tunnel is the only access to the back. It’s really cool the way the space was split – must make for an interesting deed/plat!

cjkmedia
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Nice bit of #RVA history via @CHPN post on O Street housing renovations in Church Hill http://t.co/vYBlhcOWrJ

Magneto
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Magneto

Deanna, thanks for the info and thanks for fixing things up; it will be QUITE an improvement over how they look today! That arch/tunnel looks awesome!! Honestly, with the ongoing boom of dining in the neighborhood, I always thought a restaurant serving some sort of Asian cuisine (perhaps Thai or Korean) could do well up here since there aren’t any establishments on the Hill presently serving that sort of food. The basement of the storefront space could be a kitchen, which would permit the entire first floor space to be dedicated to a dining area and bar. That would leave… Read more »