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Philadelphia Row

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1865–1867, Charles Gessford. 132–144 11th St. SE

One of the finest and most prolific architectbuilders on Capitol Hill was Gessford, who is best known for this, his least typical group of houses. One of the longest unbroken blocks of row houses in the city, the sixteen flat fronts would be mistaken for Federal period buildings except for the very timid bracketed cornice and unusual window pattern. They sit lower to the ground than other rows of the same period, with only five plain granite steps to the front doors and light wroughtiron banisters. Thus the emphasis was on the unusual rhythm of double doors separated by four windows on the three-bay ground story contrasted with two bays stretched across the upper two stories, a subtle asymmetry that would have been unacceptable in the Federal period.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Philadelphia Row", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 258-258.

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