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Tudor Place

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1794–1816, William Thornton. 1644 31st St. NW
  • Tudor Place
  • Tudor Place
  • Tudor Place
  • Tudor Place
  • Tudor Place
  • Tudor Place

In Tudor Place, Thornton realized a design as austerely geometric as could be found in the work of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Robert Mills, or John Soane. Unlike much of Georgetown's Federal architecture, Tudor Place derives its appeal from three-dimensional composition and the play of light and shadows. Its drama is enhanced by the setting at the crest of a hill with an excellent view of the Potomac River.

When Thornton undertook the design for Thomas and Martha Custis Peter, he found two wings on the property, which were the only completed portions of what the previous owner envisioned as a large country house. Thornton provided the central structures and hyphens and joined the elements with buff stucco over brick. The central block is marked by a semicircular, half-domed porch, which is supported on four Doric columns that reach to the cornice line. The circular form continues in the house itself, where a recessed portion of equal volume is extracted, so that the circle begun by the outside porch is completed. The circular form is echoed in the recessed arches above the first-floor windows, enhancing the sculptural effect. The hip roofs over the central block and wings reinforce the house's overall geometric character.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Tudor Place", [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, 411-412.

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