Then and Now: The Toronto Apartment Building

Toronto ApartmentThe Toronto, located at the southwest corner of 20th and P Streets, NW, began life in 1908. An April 12, 1908, article in the Washington Times described the beginnings of the Toronto in this manner.

Work was commenced last week on the six-story apartment house to be erected at Twentieth and P streets northwest, by Thomas H. Pickford. The architect, A. H. Beers, has also submitted final designs, which have been accepted, for a structure to cost $125,000.

The building will face eighty feet on Twentieth street and ninety feet on P street, with the entrance on the latter street. The materials to be used are gray brick ad stone, while the frame will be of steel.

Perhaps the most noticeable feature of the building and the one that will most quickly attract the attention of apartment hunters is the abundance of light afforded by the unusual number of windows. On the P street front the plans provide for twenty-five bay windows, with three windows each, and thirty-eight other windows. The Twentieth street front has a corresponding number.

There are to be six apartments on each floor, of four, six, and eight rooms each, an arrangement not found in many Washington apartment houses.

Mr. Pickford expects to have the building ready by the first of October. This is one on the largest pieces of private building now in progress in the District, and will afford employment to a large number of men through the summer. Its completion will add another high-grade apartment building to the already large number constructed in recent years.

Apartment at 20th and  P, NW
Other than being painted, the exterior of the building hasn’t changed that much over the years, as you can see from the images below. It does appear that a decorative cornice has been lost over the years.
Toronto Apartment
Two close up details of the bay window decorations are after the jump


8 Responses to “Then and Now: The Toronto Apartment Building”

  1. […] Then and Now: The Toronto Apartment Building « pedagogue Kaleidoscope […]

  2. Tom Cod Says:

    this building functioned primarily as a venue for low rent offices in the early 70s when a radical group I belonged to had its headquarters there. I don’t recall any residences in it at all. The space on the bottom floor on the left was a fast food outlet that attracted a lot of underclass type people. I’m glad the people has undergone an upgrade back to its original purpose, but its still a tough area around Dupont Circle.

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