Mayfair Mansions was designed by black architect Albert I. Cassell and codeveloped with black radio evangelist Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux with the encouragement of Eleanor Roosevelt while she was honorary chairperson of the Washington Committee on Housing. The seventeen Colonial Revival garden apartments are organized around a long central common overlooking the Anacostia River. Only 18 percent of the 28-acre site was built on, with the tall, three-story, rectangular brick buildings facing one another across the mall. Originally their gables were painted white to increase the historical allusions made by pedimented doorways, brick quoined corners, and regular, balanced compositions. As late examples of the Colonial Revival style, they show some influence of modernism, most notably tripartite windows and a planar wall-window relationship. Cassell, a native of Towson, Maryland, who had received his architectural education at Cornell University, graduating in 1919, had a long, prolific, and distinguished architectural career in Washington.
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Mayfair Mansions Apartments
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