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D.C. buildings that became landmarks in 2017, mapped

From Georgetown’s West Heating Plant to Truxton Circle’s Wardman Flats, see what notable buildings are worth knowing

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19.4 percent of properties in the nation’s capital are historic, according to Greater Greater Washington, and that number is only growing. This past year, 17 buildings were designated historic landmarks by the D.C. Historic Preservation Office. These properties ranged from single-family homes to playgrounds to schools to apartment buildings.

In order to keep track of these new, notable buildings, Curbed DC has mapped them below, listed geographically from the most north to the most south.

Were there any buildings mistakenly left off? Let Curbed DC know in the comments.

Note: The following buildings have been ordered geographically, from the most north to the most south.

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Lafayette Elementary School

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Named after Marquis de Lafayette, this building is noted as an example of the “extensible” school of the late 1920s and mid-1940s, opened in 1931 during a time when several schools in the city were constructed in order to relieve overcrowding. The structure has been modernized over the years with interior renovations and the conversion of the auditorium/gymnasium into offices and classroom space. The property is currently used as a Chevy Chase community center.

The architect behind this school is Albert L. Harris, the second Municipal Architect.

Photo via Google Street View

PEPCO Harrison Street Substation

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Constructed in 1940, this substation was built to meet the demand for electricity for residents and businesses in the neighborhood, according to the Historic Preservation Review Board application. With an Art Moderne style, this limestone-covered building was designed to blend in with the surrounding commercial buildings.

Despite succeeding in becoming a historic landmark, Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington David Alpert writes, “Maybe some substations in the city should be designated, maybe not. This one especially just does not seem to be that significant.”

Photo via Historic Preservation Review Board

Homestead Apartments

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In Brightwood Park, his H-shape, four-story building was constructed in 1939 for working-class and middle-class residents. It was designed by Quebec-born architect Louis de LaDurantaye for builder W. Charles Heitmuller. The design is that of a “conventional low-rise apartment building” with Gothic, Romanesque, and Moorish exterior decorations.

Photo via Google Street View

Perna Brothers Chesapeake Street Houses

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The Tenleytown properties located at 4112, 4114, 4116, and 4118 Chesapeake Street NW were designed by architect and federal government draftsman William L. Conley (also known as William Couley or William Cauley) in 1909. The builders behind these duplexes and row houses were Frank (Francesco) and Louis (Luigi) Perna, stoneworkers, and local businessmen.

In their application to have these properties designated historic landmarks, the Historic Preservation Review Board wrote that, “The Perna houses reflect Tenleytown’s transition from a village-like settlement to a streetcar ‘suburb within the city.’” They also represent the neighborhood’s shift to stone-made buildings.

Photo via MRIS

Ambassador Romuald Spasowski House

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In Forest Hills, this historic landmark was once occupied by Polish Ambassador Romuald Spasowski before his defection to the U.S. in 1981. According to this Historic Preservation Review Board document, this two-story, Colonial Revival-style single-family home was constructed in 1926 for owners Howard and Katie Fulmer.

By 1979, the Polish government purchased the property after Spasowski arrived in D.C. that year. After living in a “cramped suburban apartment,” he insisted in obtaining an official residence, especially a “safe house.” After his defection, the house was vacant from 1981 to 1988. Afterwards, it once again served as the official Polish Ambassador’s residence.

Since July 2017, there have been plans to construct five townhouses and one detached single-family home on the grounds of this property. Groundbreaking on this project is expected by January or February of 2018.

Photo via MRIS

Twin Oaks Playground, Field House, and Community Garden

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This nearly 10,000-square-foot site features community gardens, a one-and-a-half-story, Colonial Revival-style field house built in 1934, and a green house built in 1970. There is also a non-contributing cinderblock storage building and a non-contributing shade structure north of the field house.

What makes this site historic is its association with a local movement that had the goal to end segregation in the city’s public playgrounds, a movement that lasted from 1947 to 1954. The Historic Preservation Review Board reports that after Twin Oaks was integrated in 1953, all of D.C.’s playgrounds quickly integrated after Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.

The Twin Oaks Garden Demonstration Center was also a key component of the Youth Gardens Project, which was inaugurated in 1962 in order to provide a training center and demonstration area for volunteers for garden projects.

Photo via rockcreek

Fannie Mae/Equitable Life Insurance Company Headquarters

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This building is considered significant for its “association with the expansion of the insurance and mortgage industries after World War II, and ... for its embodiment of Georgian Revival Style during an era that idealized Colonial Revival aesthetics,” as written by D.C. Preservation League Executive Director Rebecca Miller in a letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board.

The Fannie Mae headquarters are divided into these parts: a main building, built in 1956; two side wings, built in 1963; and a rear addition, built in 1978. Influenced by the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg, Virginia, architect Leon Chatelain, Jr. designed the structure in the colonial revival style.

Not everyone is pleased with this historic designation. Washington City Paper argued that the building “possesses little architectural merit,” further describing the property as having “wrong” proportions and “bulky” projecting wings. Over 260 Curbed DC readers also responded to a poll, with the majority describing the historic designation as “ridiculous.”

Rendering via Sekisui House and Roadside Development

Wardman Flats

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The 28 Victorian rowhouses found here are known as builder Harry Wardman’s first major development. The architect behind the project is Nicolas R. Grimm. At the time that it was built, Wardman Flats was Wardman’s largest project and a model for the type of home he would continue to build in the following decades.

According to the Historic Landmark application, the buildings are “representative of the city’s early 20th century development patterns,” further representing a higher standard for lower-middle class residents’ homes.

In 1922, lawyer Julius Peyser described Wardman to the House District Committee as “the savior of Washington,” further adding, “If we had no men like Harry Wardman in 1916, 1918, and 1920, we would have had panic, riots, and insurrection. When it was a hard job to get a preference permit from the Treasury Department, Wardman went ahead and built, and built, and built.”

Photo via Google Street View

St. Paul's College

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The Missionary Society of Saint Paul the Apostle established this Brookland college campus with the first building constructed in 1914 and expanded in 1935, 1941, 1956, and 1957. The purpose of this school is to educate priests to perform the evangelical work of the Roman Catholic order. The architects behind the first building were Frederick V. Murphy and Walter B. Olmsted of the firm Murphy and Olmsted.

The Missionary Society of Saint Paul the Apostle was founded in 1858.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Farragutful

Glenn Arms Apartments

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This Adams Morgan apartment building dates all the way back to 1916, designed by master architects Hunter and Bell in the Italian Renaissance and Craftsman styles. This property is deemed historically significant for reflecting the first phase of apartment construction that shaped the neighborhood in the beginning of the twentieth century.

There have been few alterations to the building, though its original windows have been replaced.

Photo via Historic Preservation Review Board application

The Fulford

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Just down the street from the previous historic landmark is this building, also known as The Glenn Arms Apartments. Constructed in circa 1911 by Carroll Beale, this building has the same reasons for being deemed a landmark as the building, located at 2524 17th Street NW. It represents the first phase of apartment construction in Adams Morgan and embodies the characteristics of the Italian Renaissance style.

Photo via Historic Preservation Review Board application

The Scheele-Brown Farmhouse

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Constructed in 1865, this former farmhouse is now a vacant, two-story single-family home. The name of the farmhouse is indicative of the first two families of butchers that occupied the property. They were also the only residents that farmed the surrounding land. The Historic Preservation Review Board reports that this is one of the few remaining farm dwellings still in D.C. with the city’s last farm dwellings lost in the 1950s.

The roughly L-shaped building was relocated in 1903, about 150 feet north-northeast of its former site. In 1942, the property was altered with a bathroom addition, while a wood-framed sunroom was added after 1962. According to Redfin, the property last sold in November 2017 for $1.35 million.

Photo via MRIS

Holzbeierlein Bakery

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In the mid-1950s, baking was D.C.’s largest processing industry with up to 3,000 employees. According to the Historic Preservation Review Board, this bakery is D.C.’s earliest existent industrial baking facilities. Over several decades, from 1891 to 1930, this property, owned by Michael Holzbeierlein, was integrated with several structures. Holzbeierlein was a Bavarian-born immigrant who arrived in the U.S. in 1887. Holzbeierlein Bakery officially declared bankruptcy in 1953, unable to compete with larger corporations.

Designed by German-born architect Julius Wenig, the architecture that makes up the property is utilitarian and representative of the typical factory of the era.

The surrounding neighborhood is also home to other historic baking facilities, including Dorsch’s White Cross Bakery at 641 S Street NW and the Bond Bread Factory at 2146 Georgia Avenue NW.

Bisnow reports that there are plans to redevelop this structure into a 56,000-square-foot mixed-use project with office, residential, and retail space.

Photo via Google Street View

West Heating Plant

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This six-story building was originally constructed to supplement the Central Heating Plant at 13th and C streets SW. Designed by consulting architect William Dewey Foster, the Georgetown structure was approved in order to provide steam heat to the increasing number of federal buildings in the city.

In the D.C. Preservation League’s historic designation application, they praised the industrial building for its “understated,” streamlined facades of buff-colored brick.

In a Washington Post article published in November 1948, the building was also described as the “most modern heating plant of its kind in the country.”

Photo via Mr.TinDC

Federal Office Building No. 6  

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Also known as the Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Building, this 1961-constructed structure spans seven stories, designed by D.C.-based architecture firms of Faulker, Kingsbury, and Sternhouse and Chatelain, Gauger, and Nolan. This limestone and concrete building was the first federal office building constructed specifically as part of the Southwest Urban Renewal Plan. Its modernist design also marks a stylistic shift in federal government buildings.

The building has undergone alterations over the years with original windows replaced and limestone panels repaired or replaced.

Photo via Google Street View

Duvall Manor Apartments

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This three-story apartment development is built with a U-shaped compound plan with north and south wings. Constructed in 1948, it is deemed historically significant for shaping the working-class Greenway neighborhood at the time it was built. It also serves as an example of the Colonial Revival style, designed by Evan J. Connor.

According to the application for the Historic Preservation Review Board, “[This project] introduced a new model for residential organization based on multi-family habitation that stood in contrast to the single-family dwellings and row houses of the nineteenth century.” Buildings such as this also helped alleviate the housing shortage at the time.

Photo via Historic Preservation Review Board application

Texas Gardens Apartments

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In the application to the Historic Preservation Review Board, this 49-unit apartment building is historically significant for being a “new model” of residences at the time it was built as well as having a distinctive Art Deco style.

In 1944, this building was constructed with a T-shaped main block with three large projections. It is approximately 190 feet long by 100 feet wide and is 40 feet tall. The interior has had few alterations. The units range from studios to one- and two-bedrooms.

Photo via Historic Preservation Review Board application

Lafayette Elementary School

Photo via Google Street View

Named after Marquis de Lafayette, this building is noted as an example of the “extensible” school of the late 1920s and mid-1940s, opened in 1931 during a time when several schools in the city were constructed in order to relieve overcrowding. The structure has been modernized over the years with interior renovations and the conversion of the auditorium/gymnasium into offices and classroom space. The property is currently used as a Chevy Chase community center.

The architect behind this school is Albert L. Harris, the second Municipal Architect.

Photo via Google Street View

PEPCO Harrison Street Substation

Photo via Historic Preservation Review Board

Constructed in 1940, this substation was built to meet the demand for electricity for residents and businesses in the neighborhood, according to the Historic Preservation Review Board application. With an Art Moderne style, this limestone-covered building was designed to blend in with the surrounding commercial buildings.

Despite succeeding in becoming a historic landmark, Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington David Alpert writes, “Maybe some substations in the city should be designated, maybe not. This one especially just does not seem to be that significant.”

Photo via Historic Preservation Review Board

Homestead Apartments

Photo via Google Street View

In Brightwood Park, his H-shape, four-story building was constructed in 1939 for working-class and middle-class residents. It was designed by Quebec-born architect Louis de LaDurantaye for builder W. Charles Heitmuller. The design is that of a “conventional low-rise apartment building” with Gothic, Romanesque, and Moorish exterior decorations.

Photo via Google Street View

Perna Brothers Chesapeake Street Houses

Photo via MRIS

The Tenleytown properties located at 4112, 4114, 4116, and 4118 Chesapeake Street NW were designed by architect and federal government draftsman William L. Conley (also known as William Couley or William Cauley) in 1909. The builders behind these duplexes and row houses were Frank (Francesco) and Louis (Luigi) Perna, stoneworkers, and local businessmen.

In their application to have these properties designated historic landmarks, the Historic Preservation Review Board wrote that, “The Perna houses reflect Tenleytown’s transition from a village-like settlement to a streetcar ‘suburb within the city.’” They also represent the neighborhood’s shift to stone-made buildings.

Photo via MRIS

Ambassador Romuald Spasowski House

Photo via MRIS

In Forest Hills, this historic landmark was once occupied by Polish Ambassador Romuald Spasowski before his defection to the U.S. in 1981. According to this Historic Preservation Review Board document, this two-story, Colonial Revival-style single-family home was constructed in 1926 for owners Howard and Katie Fulmer.

By 1979, the Polish government purchased the property after Spasowski arrived in D.C. that year. After living in a “cramped suburban apartment,” he insisted in obtaining an official residence, especially a “safe house.” After his defection, the house was vacant from 1981 to 1988. Afterwards, it once again served as the official Polish Ambassador’s residence.

Since July 2017, there have been plans to construct five townhouses and one detached single-family home on the grounds of this property. Groundbreaking on this project is expected by January or February of 2018.

Photo via MRIS

Twin Oaks Playground, Field House, and Community Garden

Photo via rockcreek

This nearly 10,000-square-foot site features community gardens, a one-and-a-half-story, Colonial Revival-style field house built in 1934, and a green house built in 1970. There is also a non-contributing cinderblock storage building and a non-contributing shade structure north of the field house.

What makes this site historic is its association with a local movement that had the goal to end segregation in the city’s public playgrounds, a movement that lasted from 1947 to 1954. The Historic Preservation Review Board reports that after Twin Oaks was integrated in 1953, all of D.C.’s playgrounds quickly integrated after Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.

The Twin Oaks Garden Demonstration Center was also a key component of the Youth Gardens Project, which was inaugurated in 1962 in order to provide a training center and demonstration area for volunteers for garden projects.

Photo via rockcreek

Fannie Mae/Equitable Life Insurance Company Headquarters

Rendering via Sekisui House and Roadside Development

This building is considered significant for its “association with the expansion of the insurance and mortgage industries after World War II, and ... for its embodiment of Georgian Revival Style during an era that idealized Colonial Revival aesthetics,” as written by D.C. Preservation League Executive Director Rebecca Miller in a letter to the Historic Preservation Review Board.

The Fannie Mae headquarters are divided into these parts: a main building, built in 1956; two side wings, built in 1963; and a rear addition, built in 1978. Influenced by the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg, Virginia, architect Leon Chatelain, Jr. designed the structure in the colonial revival style.

Not everyone is pleased with this historic designation. Washington City Paper argued that the building “possesses little architectural merit,” further describing the property as having “wrong” proportions and “bulky” projecting wings. Over 260 Curbed DC readers also responded to a poll, with the majority describing the historic designation as “ridiculous.”

Rendering via Sekisui House and Roadside Development

Wardman Flats

Photo via Google Street View

The 28 Victorian rowhouses found here are known as builder Harry Wardman’s first major development. The architect behind the project is Nicolas R. Grimm. At the time that it was built, Wardman Flats was Wardman’s largest project and a model for the type of home he would continue to build in the following decades.

According to the Historic Landmark application, the buildings are “representative of the city’s early 20th century development patterns,” further representing a higher standard for lower-middle class residents’ homes.

In 1922, lawyer Julius Peyser described Wardman to the House District Committee as “the savior of Washington,” further adding, “If we had no men like Harry Wardman in 1916, 1918, and 1920, we would have had panic, riots, and insurrection. When it was a hard job to get a preference permit from the Treasury Department, Wardman went ahead and built, and built, and built.”

Photo via Google Street View

St. Paul's College

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Farragutful

The Missionary Society of Saint Paul the Apostle established this Brookland college campus with the first building constructed in 1914 and expanded in 1935, 1941, 1956, and 1957. The purpose of this school is to educate priests to perform the evangelical work of the Roman Catholic order. The architects behind the first building were Frederick V. Murphy and Walter B. Olmsted of the firm Murphy and Olmsted.

The Missionary Society of Saint Paul the Apostle was founded in 1858.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Farragutful

Glenn Arms Apartments

Photo via Historic Preservation Review Board application

This Adams Morgan apartment building dates all the way back to 1916, designed by master architects Hunter and Bell in the Italian Renaissance and Craftsman styles. This property is deemed historically significant for reflecting the first phase of apartment construction that shaped the neighborhood in the beginning of the twentieth century.

There have been few alterations to the building, though its original windows have been replaced.

Photo via Historic Preservation Review Board application

The Fulford

Photo via Historic Preservation Review Board application

Just down the street from the previous historic landmark is this building, also known as The Glenn Arms Apartments. Constructed in circa 1911 by Carroll Beale, this building has the same reasons for being deemed a landmark as the building, located at 2524 17th Street NW. It represents the first phase of apartment construction in Adams Morgan and embodies the characteristics of the Italian Renaissance style.

Photo via Historic Preservation Review Board application

The Scheele-Brown Farmhouse

Photo via MRIS

Constructed in 1865, this former farmhouse is now a vacant, two-story single-family home. The name of the farmhouse is indicative of the first two families of butchers that occupied the property. They were also the only residents that farmed the surrounding land. The Historic Preservation Review Board reports that this is one of the few remaining farm dwellings still in D.C. with the city’s last farm dwellings lost in the 1950s.

The roughly L-shaped building was relocated in 1903, about 150 feet north-northeast of its former site. In 1942, the property was altered with a bathroom addition, while a wood-framed sunroom was added after 1962. According to Redfin, the property last sold in November 2017 for $1.35 million.

Photo via MRIS

Holzbeierlein Bakery

Photo via Google Street View

In the mid-1950s, baking was D.C.’s largest processing industry with up to 3,000 employees. According to the Historic Preservation Review Board, this bakery is D.C.’s earliest existent industrial baking facilities. Over several decades, from 1891 to 1930, this property, owned by Michael Holzbeierlein, was integrated with several structures. Holzbeierlein was a Bavarian-born immigrant who arrived in the U.S. in 1887. Holzbeierlein Bakery officially declared bankruptcy in 1953, unable to compete with larger corporations.

Designed by German-born architect Julius Wenig, the architecture that makes up the property is utilitarian and representative of the typical factory of the era.

The surrounding neighborhood is also home to other historic baking facilities, including Dorsch’s White Cross Bakery at 641 S Street NW and the Bond Bread Factory at 2146 Georgia Avenue NW.

Bisnow reports that there are plans to redevelop this structure into a 56,000-square-foot mixed-use project with office, residential, and retail space.

Photo via Google Street View

West Heating Plant

Photo via Mr.TinDC

This six-story building was originally constructed to supplement the Central Heating Plant at 13th and C streets SW. Designed by consulting architect William Dewey Foster, the Georgetown structure was approved in order to provide steam heat to the increasing number of federal buildings in the city.

In the D.C. Preservation League’s historic designation application, they praised the industrial building for its “understated,” streamlined facades of buff-colored brick.

In a Washington Post article published in November 1948, the building was also described as the “most modern heating plant of its kind in the country.”