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Roosevelt Hotel

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1919–1920, Appleton P. Clarke, Jr. 2101 16th St. NW

The first architects for the Roosevelt, planned in 1918 to be Washington's finest apartment house, were Carrère and Hastings of New York. Construction was delayed due to the shortage of materials during World War I, and a design by local architect Appleton P. Clarke, Jr., was implemented beginning in 1919. Clarke planned five identical, three-bay wings to face 16th Street and project from a long central spine; they are connected by single-story limestone screens at ground level and serve as the entrances through gardens to each wing. Using a variety of materials for discrete sections and specific purposes of the building was a common solution on other contemporaneous large buildings: variegated brown brick for the walls, limestone to cover the lowest stories, and glazed terracotta for details on the upper stories, as the quoins and sunken two-story balconies ornamented with twisted columns and segmental pediments. The architectural language of the Roosevelt is vaguely Neo-Renaissance with subdued ornament but resolutely rectilinear, selfcontained wings. The southernmost wings are nine stories tall, but in order to present an absolutely flat roofline, they decrease in height to eight on the north as Meridian Hill rises. An unrealized, pergolaed roof garden planned by Clarke would have provided a fitting top for the massive and stately structure.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Roosevelt Hotel", [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, 307-308.

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