I recently came across rumors that rising waterfront real estate prices may spell a visit from the bulldozer for the barrel-roofed town homes at River Park, a Charles Goodman cooperative in Southwest D.C. The 518-unit complex was completed in 1962 and consists of two high-rises and 134 town houses clustered in connected blocks of eight to 10 homes, some of which are topped with the striking barrel domes. Fans of mid-century modern architecture cherish Goodman’s industrial designs, with all the prefab parts and gleaming aluminum, although the units themselves get mixed reviews on livability and durability. The rows of arched roofs are a treat to behold in a city full of restrained Federalism.
Anyway, about those rumors. According to Michael Keane, president of River Park’s board of directors, a faction of co-op members has indeed lobbied for selling the land, which the co-op purchased from the District in the late 1980s. Such a buyer would likely tear the place down. But Keane says a far larger group of owners is against such a sale (“A lot of us would like to live here!”) and, regardless, the matter hasn’t been scheduled for a vote. Several of the units are listed for sale on the River Place website, many for less than $200,000.