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Farmers and Mechanics Branch, Riggs Bank

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1921–1922, Marsh and Peter. 1201 Wisconsin Ave. NW
  • Farmers and Mechanics Branch, Riggs Bank (Franz Jantzen)

Situated at Wisconsin Avenue and M Street, the Riggs Bank responds to the topography and the tempo of the place and is one of the most effective corner buildings in the District of Columbia. Here, Wisconsin Avenue continues its steep rise to the north, and on M Street, commercial activity, no longer following a strictly linear path, fans in four directions. The building addresses the corner with its dramatic gold-leafed dome crowned by a lantern. Under the dome, at the building cornice, a clock, with a design of garlands and swags beneath, surveys the scene. One enters at the corner between Corinthian columns. On the flanks of the building colossal pilasters articulate the vertical piers; between the piers the first- and second-story windows are separated by decorative spandrels to form recessed curtain walls.

The local firm that designed the building was also responsible for the admirable Evening Star Building (see DE24, p. 197) on Pennsylvania Avenue and a small number of Beaux-Arts commercial structures, but it was best known for its residential and public school commissions.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Farmers and Mechanics Branch, Riggs Bank", [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, 404-404.

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