Archive for the Romanesque Category

This Date in History

Posted in Federal Triangle, July, Romanesque with tags , , on July 21, 2009 by Kent

July 21, 1910: In the evening, thousands of people on Pennsylvania avenue unexpectedly witnessed the lighting of the tower at the Post Office building. They were left to wonder about the purpose of the illumination. One observer speculated it was a lighthouse for airplanes. The truth of the matter was that the big arc light was put in merely for the purpose of illumination and to make the high tower beautiful with its glimmering incandescents.Post office department


Then (and Then) and Now: 1400 New Hampshire Ave., NW

Posted in Colonial Revival, Dupont Circle, Romanesque, Then and Now on April 10, 2009 by Kent

hearst-colonial-revivalThen: The home located at 1400 New Hampshire Ave., most famously associated with Phoebe Apperson Hearst, was originally built in 1883 as a Colonial Revival house for John Field. 

hearst-homeAnd Then: In 1889, the Hearst family remodeled it in the Romanesque Revival style. You can read more about this house and see additional images at this post.

One Dupont CircleNow: This site is now part of the footprint of One Dupont Circle. Its a bit hard to believe how many structures used to be on land now occupied by one building.

Phoebe Apperson Hearst & 1400 New Hampshire Ave, NW

Posted in Dupont Circle, Lost Washington, People, Residences, Romanesque on March 31, 2009 by Kent

phoebe-apperson-hearstPhoebe Apperson Hearst (1842-1919) married 41 year old George Hearst at the age of 19. Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to San Franciso and had a son, William Randolph Hearst.

When George Hearst was elected to the United States senate in 1887, the couple relocated to Washington D.C. where Phoebe entertained many guests and statesman. Four years later, Phoebe became the sole heir to her husband’s valuable estate upon his death in 1891.

Phoebe returned to California after George’s death.hearst-home

While they lived here in Washington, their home was located at 1400 New Hampshire Ave, NW, right on Dupont circle where Jury’s is currently located just off Dupont circle at the intersection of New Hampshire and O Street. The house, designed by architect Robert Fleming, was built in 1883 for John Field, and sold to Secretary of the Treasury, Charles Fairchild, in 1888. When it was acquired in 1889 by California Senator William G. Hearst, it was redesigned from the Colonial Revival style into the Romanesque by architect Harvey Page. After Hearst died in 1891, his widow Phoebe Apperson Hearst lived there until 1902 when she sold the mansion, which became the Italian Embassy until 1925. Subsequently, it was used as a hotel, a club, the Russian Bible Society Headquarters (from 1948 to 1958), and the Cathedral Club Residence, until 1964, when it was demolished. Additional images of the home, primarily of the interior, are after the jump Continue reading

Heurich Mansion

Posted in Dupont Circle, Residences, Romanesque on March 20, 2009 by Kent

Heurich exteriorI’ve always liked the Heurich home on New Hampshire just south of Dupont Circle. According to the Christian Heurich House Museum website, “the Heurich Mansion was built in 1892-1894, during Dupont Circle’s golden era as the city’s premier residential neighborhood, by German immigrant, American citizen, brewer, real estate magnate, and philanthropist, Christian Heurich.

Heurich exterior 2The mansion was the city’s first fireproof home, having been built of reinforced steel and poured concrete, a novel construction technique at the time, and unheard of for residential construction. To ensure its safety, none of the fireplaces were ever used, and the top of the tower features a salamander, in mythology, a creature that guards against fire.”

Heurich Carriage HouseI like how well preserved it is. Not only the house and its interior, but also the grounds and stable/carriage house. I also think there is some exquisite detail, especially with the copper work that was done. One could easily spend hours there taking it all in.Heurich Copper work detail

Then and Now

Posted in Downtown, Lost Washington, Residences, Romanesque, Then and Now on January 8, 2009 by Kent

Since President-Elect Obama and his family will be staying at the Hay-Adams until Blair House is available, I thought that would be a good subject of a Then and Now. hay-adams-mansionshay-adams-hotelThe first image ca. 1900 is of the residences of Henry Adams and John Hay. The second image, on the same site, is the namesake hotel today.