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Embassy of Oman (Devore Chase)

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Devore Chase
1930, Bottomley, Wagner and White. 2000 24th St. NW
  • Embassy of Oman (Devore Chase)

The year before he designed Devore Chase, William L. Bottomley said that a good quality revival house should reflect the best cultural traditions of its locality. By 1930 the houses on the top of Kalorama hill demonstrated a variety of historical styles, but Georgian Revival predominated, while the nearby Sheridan Circle mansions were largely influenced by eighteenth-century French architecture. These dual influences account for Devore Chase's fusion of the two historically concurrent traditions on this house at the corner of Wyoming Avenue and 24th Street. It was designed at the height of Bottomley's powers, after he had been a practicing architect for a quarter century. Built in limestone that has a striated texture, the low, two-story house has two major facades treated in a similar fashion: projecting porticoes are outlined by shallow, regular rustication blocks as are the edges of each five-bay composition. Pedimental sculpture consisting of an escutcheon, shell, urn, and fruit provide the only three-dimensional relief to extraordinarily restrained surfaces. Entries are subdued with minimal architectural detail or sculpture to draw attention to them; horizontal regulating lines are undecorated and kept to a minimum; widely spaced windows have barely discernable frames; and the roofs are low without balustrades or parapets. All contribute to a sense of compact volumes, elegant in their simplicity and restraint, powerful in their solidity and clarity.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee
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Citation

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Embassy of Oman (Devore Chase)", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/DC-01-SK42.

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 352-353.

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