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Hearst Hall, National Cathedral School for Girls

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1890–1900, Robert W. Gibson. Washington National Cathedral grounds

The I-shaped composition of the four-and-a-half-story limestone school is common within the historical vocabulary of its models, French Renaissance mansions. The main entry on the short end facing Woodley Road is, however, unusual, particularly as the Wisconsin Avenue facade organization implies that it is the main facade. Four recessed central bays set off by arches with Louis Amateis's low reliefs in their spandrels illustrate five roles deemed appropriate at the time for women—purity, faith, art, motherhood, and nursing. Ionic pilasters span the two main stories and their restraint is characteristic of the wall treatment, although the school's three-dimensional massing, with high, slate-covered hip roofs, is bolder, set off with two levels of coppertrimmed dormer windows.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Hearst Hall, National Cathedral School for Girls", [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, 386-386.

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