Archive for the Cluss, Adolph (1825-1905) Category

Lost Washington: Center Market

Posted in Cluss, Adolph (1825-1905), Federal Triangle, Markets, Victorian with tags , , , on August 6, 2009 by Kent

Grand Central Palace, which contains bowling alleys and billard parlor at Center Market, Washington, D.C.The block where the National Archives is located, bounded by Pennsylvania Avenue, Constitution Ave, 7th Street, and 9th Street, NW, was once the location of Center Market. Designed by Adolph Cluss, it was built in 1871. It was expanded in the 1880s with large wings also designed by Cluss.

Open six days a week from dawn until noon, the market had thousands of daily customers. The structure was a model market with good light, ventilation, drainage, and wide aisles. It was razed in 1931.
Center market interior ca. 1922

Center Market, B Street (Constitution) side

Center Market, B Street (Constitution) side


Eastern Market Reopening This Friday

Posted in Capitol Hill, Cluss, Adolph (1825-1905), Markets with tags , , , on June 22, 2009 by Kent

Eastern Market InteriorEastern Market is set to reopen this week after the devastation fire that closed it on April 30, 2007. The renovations cost $22 million.

I like that they paid particular attention to historical details great and small … such as choosing a dark salmon pink for the interior that was the same color that was used when the building first opened in 1873.

The Washingtonian has a great article on the process Eastern Market went through during the renovation, including a lot of photos of the interior, which you can read/see here>>

Then and Now: 14th and Vermont @ Thomas Circle

Posted in Cluss, Adolph (1825-1905), Then and Now, Thomas Circle with tags , , , on May 6, 2009 by Kent

portland-flatsThen: The Portland Flats, designed by architect Adolph Cluss and built in 1879. This was Washington’s first luxury apartment building, and comparable to the Watergate today. When it opened, rents were $150 a month, an unheard of price, considering that a house in Mount Pleasant could be rented for $50 a month. The building was razed in 1962.

thomas-circle-14th-and-vermontNow: The aesthetically sterile Residence Inn. This building replaced the Portland Flats and originally was an office building. It has undergone some facade changes since its construction, but generally reads the same.

Masonic Temple, 910 F Street, NW

Posted in Cluss, Adolph (1825-1905) on April 22, 2009 by Kent

masonic templeThe former Masonic Temple on F Street is one of Washington’s remaining buildings by Adolf Cluss. A website that focuses on Cluss and his architecture contains the following information on the building:

Designed in an Italian palazzo style by Adolf Cluss and Joseph Wildrich von Kammerhueber in 1867, the four-story Masonic Temple with its multicolored sandstone façade adorned with Masonic symbols still stands at Ninth and F streets NW. Cluss had joined LaFayette Lodge No. 19 of the Masons in November 1864. Work began in June 1867. The Evening Star reported that “The building committee, judging from the massive foundations (three feet in thickness) being laid, are determined on erecting a building which will stand for ages.” Cluss’s original drawing shows a fifth floor that was never built because, Cluss explained many years later, of lack of funds. The Masonic Temple cost $100,000, much of which was raised through the sale of stock. Cluss himself still owned shares worth $4,100 at the time of his death in 1905. The income from first-floor shops and from the second-floor grand ballroom rentals provided dividends for stockholders. Throughout the remainder of the 19th century, the ballroom was the scene of many of the city’s most important social events.

The building was dedicated on March 20, 1870, and the Masons used the building until they moved to new and bigger lodgings in 1908. That building is now home to the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Now This is a Full Service Bank

Posted in Banks, Cluss, Adolph (1825-1905), Downtown, Farragut Square on March 18, 2009 by Kent

While I can’t put my finger on what it is, there is something about this image I really love. It might be the car and how shiny it is. It might be that a bank has a doorman. It might be that this building used to be a house … in fact, it used to be Boss Shepherd’s house. This bank was located on the northeast corner of K and Connecticut in Shepherd’s row. You can read my earlier post on the row here. This image must be from the 1920s after the neighborhood started to go commercial (Library of Congress, #npcc 30643).district-national-bank

Shepherd’s Row

Posted in Cluss, Adolph (1825-1905), Downtown, Farragut Square, Lost Washington, Residences, Second Empire on March 14, 2009 by Kent

The three second empire homes that once bordered the north side of Farragut Square were designed by Adolph Cluss and erected in 1873. Along with Logan Circle, Dupont Circle, and 16th Street, this section of K Street was among the most prestigious residential areas in the city during the last part of the 19th century.

shepherds-rowShepherd’s Row takes its name from District of Columbia Governor Alexander R. Shepherd, who resided in the home on the northeast corner of K Street and Connecticut.

The other two homes were owned by Adolph Cluss (center) and Hallet Kilbourn (northwest corner of 17th & K).  The residential neighborhood remained largely intact until the 1920s, when many of the grand homes began to be converted to offices.

Shepherd’s Row was ultimately razed in 1952.

Lost Washington: Agriculture Department Building

Posted in Cluss, Adolph (1825-1905), Government Buildings, Lost Washington, Mall (The), Second Empire on February 14, 2009 by Kent

Agriculture Department BuildingThe original Agriculture Department Building to be located at the corner of 14th and Independence Streets, SW, was designed by Adolph Cluss and built in 1868.

The building was 170 feet long by 61 feet deep and consisted of a finished basement, three full stories, and Mansard roof. The first floor contained a museum of walnut display cabinet containing specimens of agricultural produce, sees, and plants. agriculture-building

Many aspects of the building incorporated elements used by James Renwick Jr.’s Corcoran Gallery (present Renwick Gallery) which had been completed eight years earlier. Both buildings used red brick with brownstone trim, flatsided mansard roofs, and applied surface decoration.

view-from-agriculture-buildingIn addition to the building, it was noted for  its extensive formal gardens that extended northward to the present Constitution Avenue. These were the creation of William Saunders (1822-1900).

The current Department of Agriculture building, which was begun in 1904, was build around the original building, and was not completed until this building was razed in 1930.