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Winder Building

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1848, unknown. 17th and G streets NW
  • Winder Building (Franz Jantzen)

A five-story brick structure coated with smooth plaster, the floors of the Winder Building were constructed of cast-iron beams with segmental brick vaults struck between them. This fireproof technique was introduced to Washington by James Renwick in part of the Smithsonian Building. Although privately financed as a speculative venture of William H. Winder and a modest building by comparison, the Winder Building is nevertheless of great historical importance because it was the first structure in the city to employ this new method throughout. The federal government purchased it for the War Department four years after its completion.

The just-restored look dates from the completion of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board building to the north and includes a modern brick retaining wall matching the brick of Liberty Plaza, which ties the Winder Building to the larger complex.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Winder Building", [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, 206-207.

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