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Corcoran School founder’s former country home in Brookland may be razed

The D.C. Preservation League has spoken against this project

Photo via raze application

The former country residence of William Corcoran, one of the founders of Riggs Bank and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, may meet the wrecking ball.

On August 24, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception filed an application for a raze permit for the Harewood Estate, located at 3600 Harewood Road NE. According to a description of the building, the estate was originally built in the 1800s with two stucco and wood frame additions built in the 1900s.

In 1872, Corcoran sold the property to the Soldier’s Home, which was later sold to the Catholic University of America in 2004.

In an email, Basilica Reverend Monsignor Walter R. Rossi told Curbed DC, “Simply put, we did in fact look into preserving the house, but it will be cost prohibitive as well as inhibit our plans for the property.”

Rossi did not provide the exact cost of the preservation for the estate by the time of this article’s publication. He also did not elaborate as to what the plans for the property are.

In response to the plans to raze the structure, the D.C. Preservation League, a 1971-founded organization meant to protect historic buildings in the city, made a response on Facebook, describing the property as “one of Washington's most endangered places.”

The Basilica is the largest Catholic church in the United States and North America, one of the ten largest churches in the world, and the tallest habitable building in Washington, D.C., according to the Basilica's website. Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have visited this church.