The former Friendship House is being converted into new condominiums. (Evy Mages/for THE WASHINGTON POST)

William Mayne Duncanson, an Englishman who came to Washington in the late 18th century to establish an East India trade, built a mansion in Capitol Hill called the Maples between 1795 and 1797.

Now the historic estate at 619 D St. SE near the Eastern Market Metro station is being transformed into condomininums.

Altus Realty Partners is converting the manor house, carriage house, school and stables into one-, two- and three-bedroom condos, six of which are duplexes.

Much of the manor house, including the front porch, is being restored. Other features, such as the windows and the roof, are being replaced. Four- and five-bedroom townhomes also are being built on the property.

The townhomes and condos will include high-end finishes. The complex will contain an underground garage. The homes, which are priced from the $400,000s to $1.65 million, are anticipated to be ready for occupancy in the fourth quarter of 2014.

For more information, visit or call (202) 580-6001.

Rendering of the Lyric Apartments (Capital Pixel)

New D.C. apartments friendly to people and pets

The new Lyric apartment building offers a variety of high-end amenities — for tenants and their pets — in Northwest Washington’s Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood.

Called a pet-friendly development, the 234-unit building at 440 K St. NW has dog-walking services.

For people, the building has valet dry cleaning, a 24-hour front desk, a fitness center, WiFi, gated access to an underground parking garage and a bike storage room. The landscaped roof deck includes a fire pit, water features and an indoor social space, plus a two-tier infinity pool. The second floor of the building features a tranquility garden and an outdoor fireplace.

The apartments have floor-to-ceiling windows; Italian Porcelanosa tile flooring; a full-size washer and dryer; and a gourmet kitchen with double sinks, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, espresso cabinetry and a built-in wine rack. Some units include a private balcony or courtyard.

The one-bedroom units start at $1,990 per month, while the one-bedroom and den homes start at $2,600. Two-bedroom units range from $2,800 to $3,600 per month. For more information, contact the sales center at or at (202) 777-0740.

House tour to support St. Albans School

The annual St. Albans School Christmas House Tour, a tradition for 31 years, will showcase five homes along Woodland and Normanstone drives in Massachusetts Avenue Heights on Friday and Saturday.

The homes will be decorated for the holidays by local florists.

This year’s tour includes two Georgian brick homes, a former ambassador’s residence, a Mediterranean style villa and a newly constructed house. One property was previously owned by former Treasury secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.; and former senator Jon S. Corzine (D-N.J.). Another home has an original White House marble mantel on display.

In addition to the house tour, St. Albans is hosting a holiday market with items from more than 50 boutiques and a luncheon. The holiday market will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the tour runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at

The Cabidor storage unit. (Giovanni Photography) The Cabidor storage unit. (Giovanni Photography)

Tip of the week

If you’re lacking storage space, a new product called the “Cabidor” may offer a solution.

Unlike racks and hooks that hang over a door, the Cabidor attaches to the hinges of any door to create storage space. The Cabidor, which has the storage capacity of more than five medicine cabinets, can be customized with adjustable shelving and a retention rod system. You can use it for extra pantry space, craft or office supplies, jewelry, bathroom supplies, pet supplies, laundry or utility room materials.

The Cabidor, produced by Hingenuity, won best product awards at various houseware shows.

The Cabidor can be attached and detached easily, so it can be used by homeowners, renters, office workers or college students in their dorm rooms. The product, which ranges in price from $129 to $199, can be ordered at

CORRECTION: A previous version of this blogpost incorrectly stated the name of the company that produces the Cabidor home organizer. It is Hingenuity, not Ingenuity.


Lerner is a freelance writer. To pass on a tip or news item, contact us at and put “Town Square” in the subject line.