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The Lindens (Robert Hooper House)

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Robert Hooper House
1754, unknown. 2401 Kalorama Rd. NW

The reason The Lindens has such an authentic air of eighteenth-century architecture is that it is an authentic American Georgian house. Erected in Danvers, Massachusetts, in 1754 by an unknown architect, it was moved to Kalorama in 1935 and rebuilt under the guidance of Walter Macomber. It is an archetypal example of the mid-Georgian period in its impressive size, gambrel-roofed form, allwood construction, and concentration of architectural interest on its main facade. The latter was constructed of wood planks with their edges set flush then grooved horizontally and vertically to resemble ashlar masonry, as the owners and builders wanted at least the appearance of monumentality and permanence. Sand was added to a stonecolored paint in order to enhance the illusion. The five-bay composition, flat arches over windows, and modillion cornice were typical of colonial houses, but quoins framing the edges and a giant portico marking the central axis were innovations that came in about mid-century. This vocabulary, a slightly old-fashioned colonial expression of English and Dutch eighteenth-century architecture, was not a revival of any style. Rather it was a late survival of Italian Renaissance architecture that had undergone two changes, once when it was transferred to England via architects and illustrated books and then again when the English and Americans utilized the same books on this continent.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee
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Citation

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "The Lindens (Robert Hooper House)", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/DC-01-SK39.

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 351-352.

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