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James C. Hooe House

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1907, George Oakley Totten, Jr. 2230 Massachusetts Ave. NW
  • James C. Hooe House (Library of Congress)

Decoration of the Hooe house facade is Totten's work at his most exotic and flamboyant, yet its triple-bay, four-story composition is strictly controlled with elaborate three-dimensional detailing held within specific zones, primarily concentrated at the roof and cornice lines. Walls of red brick with glazed headers set in a lozenge pattern provide a sharp color contrast with the cream color of the ashlar limestone base and quoins and the exuberantly molded terracotta ornament. Totten derived his design and decorative elements from a French Renaissance vocabulary, where fantastic creatures (salamanders and rampant winged lions) are set among a profusion of shells, arabesques, balusters, and pinnacles. A major second-story room is expressed on the facade by compression of three bays into a single, tripartite window visually supported by a balcony, the gentle curves of which provide a foil for the rectilinearity of the deeply sunken windows.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "James C. Hooe 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, 343-343.

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