Lost Washington: Wisteria House

Wisteria House ca. 1920Once located on the northwest corner of Massachusetts Avenue and 11th Street, NW, the Wisteria House was built during the Civil War (ca. 1863) for hardware merchant William Thomas. Thomas added a two story portico in 1869. The Wisteria was brought to Washington from China and was a gift to Thomas by a naval officer.

In 1878, Thomas moved to Saint Louis. The new owner was Gustavus Ricker, a businessman with investments in marble, iron, and railroads. Ricker removed the original gable roof and added a third story with a flat roof in 1882.

Upon Ricker’s death, his widow continued to live in the home until her death in 1922. The house was razed in 1924 to make way for the Wisteria Mansions Apartments.Wisteria House detail


2 Responses to “Lost Washington: Wisteria House”

  1. Love how the curve of the trees work around the door.

  2. I’m often saddened by what we have lost. In Newburyport, Mass., where I grew up, an 18th century tavern (Wolfe Tavern) was torn down in the 1950’s to make room for a gas station. Chauncy Street in downtown Boston was once lined with handsome brownstones and wrought iron fences. Now the street is nothing but a service street at the back of department stores. Ironic that this beautiful house was replaced by apartment buildings bearing its name.

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