Vacant nearly 30 years; a look inside 2314 Shannon Place SE just steps from the Anacostia Metro

crubside view of 2314 Shannon Place SE

On the outside is may look like 2314 Shannon Place SE, a stroll down the street from the Anacostia Metro, is just another vacant property on the periphery environs of Old Anacostia. At the left corner, 2314 Shannon Place, of a four row-house development (2314, 2316, 2318 and 2320) ivy has begun its encroachment, a symbol of neglect and abandonment. The outside looks better than the inside.


The front door opens up to a pit. Nothing much resembling interior decorating or the presence of walls are left. There are no interior walls. All that remains are four decaying floor boards between the intact brick shell.


An upturned bathtub endures, most likely too heavy to remove and not worth its weight to anyone.


Looking up, sun beams in through large holes in the roof. Whenever it rains water streams through the home and onto the floor which has nearly turned to sand.

According to Brian Kraft’s Building Permit database the four properties were built in 1915 at an estimated cost of $1,500 each. The owner, architect and builder of the four row houses was William C. McGowan.

According to OTR’s Recorder of Deeds, on June 13, 2014 a deed between “Laura E. Johnson, surviving tenant by the entirety of Thomas J. Johnson, who died on November 11, 1980 by Emma O. Bakare her power of attorney which is to be recorded prior hereto, party of the first part, and Walter A. Arevalo, party of the second part.

Witnesseth, that in consideration of the sum of One Hundred Thirty Eight Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($138,000), the parties of the first part do hereby grant unto the party of the second part, in fee simple, as sole owner, all the piece or parcel of land, together with the improvements, rights, privileges and appurtenances to the same belonging, situate in the District of Columbia.”

If the property has been vacant for nearly 35 years that would explain its condition. A strong-armed center fielder, with a serious crow-hop, could throw a baseball from the front of this home to the Anacostia Metro station.


A member of the Great Ward Eight Facebook page grew up next door to 2314 Shannon Place SE and recalls Mrs. Laura Johnson. The member shared that house was occupied until at least 1989. Laura Johnson was the wife of Thomas Johnson. I initially thought she may have been the daughter. In many of these cases it is very difficult to interpret property records without the assistance and information of long-time residents and good folks. Thank you for the kind help. – JM & WA-El

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  1. #1 by Vincent G Carter on July 8, 2014 - 10:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing the history of this shell. I am surprised it wasn’t lost to a tax lien. The daughter wife angle is interesting. The shell has great potential from a design and location perspective.

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