When you stand on the roof at the Hepburn, you are on top of the city. Nowhere in Washington is there an unobstructed view like this one. It makes you wonder why the Washington Hilton didn’t take advantage of its vantage point long ago. The Hilton’s loss is the Hepburn’s gain.
Stretching from Silver Spring to Rosslyn, the sweeping panorama includes just about every monument and landmark in the city — Basilica, Washington Monument, U.S. Capitol, Old Post Office Building, Air Force Memorial, Capital Wheel at National Harbor and Naval Observatory. Not that you need them, but the builder installed binoculars refurbished from a U.S. naval ship on the roof for powerful peeping.
With a capacity of 400 and seating for 200, the roof is the ideal spot for entertaining. Bestselling author Emily Giffin recently held a book signing there.
From big events to small gatherings, the roof can accommodate them all. Want to invite your friends over to watch the big game? Reserve one of the two private cabanas with a grill, lounge area and big screen TV.
Besides the cabanas, there are four additional grilling stations.
On cool nights, snuggle up to one of the two fire pits. On warm days, take a refreshing dip in the plunge pool or rinse off under the outdoor shower.
Start your morning off with sun salutations while gazing at the Washington skyline in a sunrise yoga class. Or challenge your friends to a game of shuffleboard on the outdoor court.
If the weather isn’t ideal, the indoor lounge and bar offer a place to enjoy the view away from the elements.
Like most new apartment buildings today, the Hepburn is designed for residents to spend more time out of their apartments than in them. The reasons you’d rent here are the amenities and the location, not necessarily the living space.
The units are underwhelming, though it is worth trying to snag one with a private outdoor balcony. Terraces on the larger units range from 250 square feet to more than 800. Designed by Toronto-based interior design firm Cecconi Simone, the apartments have the usual open floor plan with sleek contemporary bathrooms and kitchens. About the only thing that distinguishes them from a hotel room is their ample closet space.
If you are lucky enough to score an exterior unit, the view is spectacular, even on the lower floors. Interior units have no balconies and face the Hilton.
But living in the Hepburn isn’t about where you shower and sleep. Let’s face it: Unless you are an introvert, you’re not going to spend much time in your apartment.
You’re more likely to relax by the fireplace in the lounge, read in the library, play billiards in the game room or sip a glass of wine from your private temperature-controlled wine locker. You’ll do your workouts in the spacious fitness center, gazing at the view while you run on the treadmill. For a separate fee, residents will have access to the Hilton’s swimming pool.
You aren’t the only one who will be pampered at the Hepburn. Your pooch can get spa-like treatment in the dog washing room where you can give Fido a nice bath and blow dry. If your dog needs medical attention, the concierge can summon the on-call vet for you.
The Hepburn and the hotel next door offer plenty of parking spaces for you and your guests. But should you decide to go carless, the building has an arrangement with GM Maven, the car-sharing service.
Designed by Beyer Blinder Belle, the Hepburn — a curved glass building that bends in sympathy with the Washington Hilton, forming almost a circle — arrives almost 80 years after Frank Lloyd Wright first proposed building a similar hotel-apartment complex on this site. The project, which was called Crystal Heights, was derailed by bureaucracy, resistance to its avant-garde design and Wright’s hubris. Like Crystal Heights, the Hepburn faced its share of obstacles as well.
Lowe Enterprises Investors and Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds acquired the Washington Hilton and the property in 2007 with the intention of constructing a condo building, then called the Residences at Dupont.
The Historic Preservation Review Board gave its go-ahead in 2008, but the economic downturn delayed the start. In 2013, Lowe acquired the residential development rights from Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds and partnered with National Real Estate Advisors to move forward on the Hepburn. Groundbreaking on the 195-unit building began in November 2014.
The Hepburn caters to urban professionals who like to entertain, and this level of pampering doesn’t come cheap. Monthly rents for studios start at $2,590 and go up to $2,930 for units between 449 and 598 square feet. One-bedrooms run from $2,760 to $4,860 for units between 506 and 1,066 square feet. Two-bedrooms range from $4,660 to $12,000 for units between 1,088 and 1,668 square feet. Of the three three-bedroom units, only one remains available to rent. The 1,975-square-foot apartment leases for $13,500 monthly.
Leasing has already started. The building is managed by Bozzuto.
1901 Connecticut Ave. NW