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Embassy and Chancery of Haiti (Gibson Fahnestock House)

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Gibson Fahnestock House
1909–1910, Nathan C. Wyeth. 2311 Massachusetts Ave. NW
  • Embassy and Chancery of Haiti (Gibson Fahnestock House)

The adjoining Fahnestock and Moran houses were under construction simultaneously and succinctly exhibit two basic approaches to highstyle Beaux-Arts architecture in America. Both depend upon eighteenth-century French prototypes; Totten's Moran house is a freely composed, eclectic design while Wyeth's Fahnestock house is more academically correct in its composition and architectural vocabulary. Its four-and-a-half-story limestone facade is a finely proportioned composition in which the richness implied by the Corinthian pilasters is achieved by restrained elegance rather than by abundant ornament. Nonetheless the comparatively thin front plane is activated across its entire surface with variously proportioned and detailed windows locked into a subtly defined and perfectly balanced grid. Although less imaginative than its adjoining neighbor, Wyeth's design is visually coherent and viscerally satisfying, its restraint a positive influence on the avenue.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee
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Citation

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Embassy and Chancery of Haiti (Gibson Fahnestock House)", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/DC-01-SK20.

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 347-347.

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