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Count Laszlo and Countess Gladys Vanderbilt Széchényi House

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Maie H. Williams House
1917, Clarke Waggaman; 1927 addition, George N. Ray. 2929 Massachusetts Ave. NW
  • Count Laszlo and Countess Gladys Vanderbilt Széchényi House (Maie H. Williams House) (Franz Jantzen)

Waggaman's sophisticated reinterpretation of Neoclassical traditions in the cubic block of the Williams House is evident in the composition and details of its simplified forms. The relationship of the windows—voids punched directly into brick walls—to two limestone belt courses that divide the house into the three stories changes on each floor, as window sizes and shapes vary according to internal function. The interplay on the limestone frontis-piece of a very abstract rendition of a Palladian window above the entrance with the simple but academically correct porch below is one of sunken versus projecting elements and a nearly solid masonry wall segment above visually supported by a skeletal wall and columned porch below. The single-story ballroom addition to the north, designed in 1927 by Waggaman's partner George Ray, is visually connected to the tightly composed main block by replication on a smaller scale of the house's cube and retention of its lower belt course to encircle it.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee



  • 1917

  • 1927


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Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Count Laszlo and Countess Gladys Vanderbilt Széchényi House", [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, 392-392.

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