Lost Washington: Stoneleigh Court Apartments

Stoneleigh Court Apartments ca. 1910The Stoneleigh Court Apartments were built in 1905 as a monument to John Hay’s love of the French style. It was located strategically at the southeast corner of Connecticut Avenue and L Street.

It was once one of the most fashionable hotel residences in the city, numbering among its residents Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis. Stoneliegh Court cost $1 million when built — 28 cents per square foot then — and its interior was the plushest in Washington. Stoneleigh Court Ad 1917The halls were of marble, trimmed with oil-finished birch and oak. The floors were of oak and Alabama pine, and the lobby was finished in marble mosaic.

The exterior sported elaborate cornices, and the heating system was considered the latest in comfort. This was the specific design of its owner, John Hay, Secretary of State under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.

By 1953, the apartment’s street front level housed ten stores and offices. Flashy new buildings grew up around it and Stoneleigh Court slowly became a place of the past.

By August 1965 it was being assaulted by the blows of the wrecker’s ball.  Demolition of the luxurious eight-story building being deemed necessary to make way for another of the window-sheet office buildings that had begun to populate Connecticut Avenue.
Stoneleigh Court being razed, 1965

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