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1937–1938, Alvin E. Aubinoe, Sr., and Harry L. Edwards. 1530 16th St. NW
  • Hightowers (Library of Congress)
  • (Photograph by Karen Kingsley)
  • (Photograph by Karen Kingsley)

This Art Deco apartment building designed for the Cafritz Company demonstrates how an established formula—skyscraper with projecting bays—could be modernized not just in its outward appearance but also through fundamental changes in concept. Curved strip windows divided vertically by a series of distinct window mullions articulate the two projecting bays of Hightowers. Each bay is subtly separated from the building block by narrow vertical strip windows and in turn is outlined by flat brick frames surmounted by stepped pinnacles, a modest rendition of the ziggurat motif that was popular during the 1930s. The building's edges repeat the plain stepped brick surround of the projecting bays, thus framing the compact, relatively small-scale design. Central and side bays have darker brick recessed spandrels. Aluminum double doors punctured by large semicircular windows are set slightly behind elegant square frames made up of smaller squares of dark glazed tiles. The subtle composition and fine sense of proportion give the modest Hightowers great architectural character.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Hightowers", [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, 302-303.

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