Power Ranking DC’s Condo and Apartment Names

Power Ranking DC’s Condo and Apartment Names

The definitive list

Image for postPARK VIEW on Irving Street. Flickr/IntangibleArts

For years, I?d kept a list, first in the Notes app and then somewhere in a byzantine Trello board, of the names of buildings in DC that I found interesting or silly. It went nowhere for a long time, until on a whim I asked our readers to supply the names of as many of these buildings as they could.

In that survey I promised to power-rank the names. And while I didn?t explicitly promise to power-rank all the names, I knew that was the only way I ? who used to have no problem spending an afternoon re-categorizing my books or baseball cards by some new classification system ? would follow through.

Months passed. Somehow, this quirky project was rarely the most pressing of my responsibilities. But, as a person of my word, I have now delivered. Here it is. The arbitrarily-decided, haphazardly-ranked list.

(And, that urge to classify that I mentioned? Because ranking the condo and apartment names wasn?t enough, I also wrote about the patterns that emerged in how these places are named. It?s fascinating and politically relevant, but not essential to understanding this list.)

Towards a Taxonomy of the Nomenclature of Dwellings (District 2018)

Now leasing.


A couple of notes before I give you the list:

  • I asked for apartment and condo buildings, but I haven?t double checked all or most of these.
  • This list is far, far from exhaustive. The city has been in an apartment-building boom so there are new entries all the time.
  • There were plenty of apartments that no one submitted. Some names that did not appear in our sample would be high on this list. The Ndidi, for example, a small building near 12th and W NW. Others would fall in the mediocre middle, such as Lumen, a building across from mine. (It would not be surprising if the list over-represents the city center and NW.)

Without any further ado, a definitive list, subject to revision without notice, from best to worst:

  1. Otis Place Flats ? Simple. Classic. Instructive.
  2. The Woodner
  3. The Nebraska
  4. The Kenmore
  5. The Argonne
  6. eaves
  7. Post Mass ? I dig the triple entendre. Is it after Massachusetts Ave? Is it in a former post office on Mass Ave? Or, most intriguingly of all, is this building somehow post mass in the sense that gravity, for example, will have no affect, dwellers therefore floating. (Ed note: The full name is Post Massachusetts, but Post Mass is what was submitted. Since the latter is more fun, we?ll use that. Downrank full name.)
  8. Idaho Terrace
  9. The Clara Barton
  10. The Richelieu ? I had this much further down before I actually looked up Richelieu, who I merely remembered as a villain from The Three Musketeers.
  11. The Cairo ? tinge of Orientalism, perhaps
  12. Hecht Warehouse ? this is actually what it is, the old Hecht Warehouse, and many developers seem to be realizing just using a building?s old name is often better than trying to come up with a new one.
  13. Brookland Works
  14. Avery Row
  15. Dock 79 ?points off, possibly a music venue
  16. Colonnade
  17. Circle Arms ? most badass of the crypto-colonial names; ?could feasibly be a grainy RPG I played growing up.?
  18. Shawmut
  19. The Floridian
  20. The Tellus ? that just means ?The Earth? in Latin, which is kind of metal
  21. Atlantic Plumbing ? I have issues with pandering to this blue-collar fantasy, as detailed in the taxonomy of names linked to above; but purely as a matter of cadence, some are superior or at least inoffensive
  22. Foundry Lofts
  23. California House ? I don?t know why but I like a lot of the ?House? things, possibly a Harry Potter thing
  24. Loree Grand
  25. New Quin ? not an Eskimo
  26. The Cloisters ? ?The Nunnery? didn?t have the same ring to it
  27. Schuyler Arms
  28. The Jason ? you?ll have quite a journey. Slightly more coy than the Odyssey, which comes in for a much lower ranking.
  29. The Ellington ?questions abound as to line between exploitation of U St heritage and glorification. Merely as name, excellent.
  30. Adams View ? descriptive at least.
  31. The Bader ? for first time, I wonder whether one who abides is a ?bader.? If so, catapult to top dozen.
  32. The Wilson
  33. The Kirkman
  34. Station House
  35. The Mohawk
  36. The Fedora
  37. Waterside Towers
  38. The Edison
  39. The Swift
  40. The Mill
  41. The Statesman
  42. The Asher
  43. The Promenade ? is it actually on promenade? Double score if not.
  44. The Phoenix ? The Fawkes might be better.
  45. Lydian
  46. Park Crest
  47. William Penn
  48. The Baron ? Better than ?The Colonel? or similar, because Baron is definitely silliest title. Also around here on the list is where you transition from good names to merely unembarrassing ones.
  49. President Madison ? Suppose he doesn?t have all that much named for him, relative to peers.
  50. Cleveland House ?This works, as much less obnoxious than ?Harvard House? and other variations.
  51. Modern ? Bet it has great WiFi.
  52. Mondrian ? This is not just a name ? would rank much lower if named Mondrian without also embracing his aesthetic.
  53. Chalfonte
  54. Ore 82 ? Some on my team considered this a winner. ?This is begging to be a dwelling in a Neal Stephenson book.?
  55. The Chelsea
  56. The Pentacle ? Points for pentagram-adjacency. A home for Wiccans?
  57. Portico
  58. Gables
  59. The Collective ? False advertising. Not actually a collective, branding is way cooler than the actual apartments.
  60. Radius
  61. Yale Steam Laundry
  62. Trellis House ? good name but if you go by the actual one, the name is gaudily plastered across the front with ?WASHINGTON, DC? under it. Who was going to be confused about what city they?re in at Sherman and Barry Place NW?
  63. The Ambassador
  64. The Debonair
  65. Belle Pre ? Extra points, maybe has a rap group named after it.
  66. The Gaslight ? Separated from negative associations of ?gaslighting,? would be a cool name. As is, hard to believe they haven?t changed it.
  67. Holm ? too clever by half.
  68. Skyline Towers
  69. One Hill South
  70. Shoreham North ? What is Shoreham? Is there a Shoreham South?
  71. Metro 710
  72. Notch 8
  73. District ? ?Go to the District.? ?Where in the District?? ?The District.? ?
  74. Calvert House
  75. Andover House
  76. The Parkhill
  77. Roosevelt Camden
  78. Apollo
  79. Apolline
  80. The Savoy
  81. The Pearl
  82. Dorchester West
  83. Vaughan Place
  84. The Griffin
  85. The Hepburn
  86. Flats 130
  87. River Park
  88. Connecticut Park
  89. The York
  90. City Market
  91. AdM? Heights ? it is maybe bad but cannot really put it any further down. Everything after this is bad. It?s like Step Brothers: Every movie worse than Step Brothers is a bad movie.
  92. Ava ? pleasant but possibly a cult.
  93. Capitol Park
  94. 1430W
  95. Foxhall ? just the name of the neighborhood
  96. Newport
  97. The Diplomat
  98. The Louis
  99. The Corey
  100. The Aventine
  101. The Colonel ? sort of nefarious sounding.
  102. The Elise
  103. The Lafayette
  104. The Citadel
  105. The Biltmore
  106. The Berkshire
  107. The Lex
  108. The Margie
  109. The Rodney
  110. The Lauren
  111. The Meridian
  112. Oxford
  113. St. George ? Dragon sold separately.
  114. The Aspen
  115. Pasadena
  116. Saxony
  117. Havana
  118. OSLO
  119. Belvedere
  120. Lockwood
  121. Chastleton
  122. Croydon Manor ? Extra points for its big green sign.
  123. Solaire
  124. Copperstone
  125. Cornerstone
  126. Chatham Court
  127. Jefferson Marketplace
  128. Parc Riverside
  129. The Leumass
  130. Avec
  131. Odyssey
  132. Sulgrave Manor
  133. The Avondale
  134. Windermere-Harrowgate
  135. South Cathedral Mansion
  136. The Envoy
  137. Senate Square
  138. Yale Steam Laundry
  139. Gelmarc
  140. Radius
  141. The Sheldon
  142. The Belgard
  143. The Aria
  144. Lyric
  145. The Libretto
  146. The Shay
  147. The Gale
  148. The Sonnet
  149. The Ralph
  150. The Vintage
  151. Avalon
  152. Wisteria Mansion
  153. Elberon
  154. Miramar
  155. Arcadia
  156. Harvard Hall
  157. The Beauregard
  158. Allegro
  159. The Lurgan
  160. Anthology
  161. The Cromwell
  162. The Latrobe
  163. Castle Manor
  164. Normandy Place
  165. Onyx on First ? Sounds like a Pokemon playing baseball.
  166. The Zenith
  167. Rhapsody
  168. VIO
  169. Elevation
  170. Porter Del Ray
  171. Sedona and Slate
  172. Excelsior
  173. Elysium
  174. Paramount
  175. The Prime ? We?re moving away from nuance, aren?t we?
  176. 450K ? How much you have to make to afford it?
  178. Insignia
  179. Viva
  180. Villaggio
  181. The Mission
  182. Ivory Towers
  183. Mai Place
  184. Berkshire 15
  185. Sky DC ? Trampoline sold separately.
  186. Velocity
  187. Coda
  188. Instrata
  189. Arris
  190. Adamo
  191. Galvant ? Was this a Hyundai luxury sedan at some point?
  192. Incanto ? Where Slytherins live.
  193. 2M
  194. 10ElevenM
  195. Twelve12
  196. F1Rst
  197. 100K
  198. The Celsius
  199. The Fahrenheit
  200. The Veridian ? Possibly an insurance company, possibly impersonating The Meridian, who?s to say?
  201. Panache ? You have none.
  202. Gab ? When your building can be confused with a social media platform most famous for hosting Nazis?rename your building.
  203. The Twin Towers ? Somehow, they haven?t changed the name.

The author reserves the right to change this list at any time to accommodate changes in his thinking and new entries.


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