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River Park

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1962, Charles M. Goodman Architects. 4th St. and Delaware Ave. and N and O streets SW

The most unusual housing cluster in the Southwest redevelopment area is River Park, a cooperative completed in 1962 south of Carrollsburg Square. The project's developer, Reynolds Aluminum Service Corporation, had resolved to demonstrate the use of aluminum in urban renewal projects and wielded influence over Charles M. Goodman's design. The project also represents the first use of a central heating and cooling plant for town houses.

The apartment towers form a wall-like configuration along Delaware Avenue, as if to block their residents' view of public housing across that thoroughfare. The town houses are distinctive for their barrel-vaulted roofs, a feature intended to contribute visual excitement to the project. Aluminum is used throughout the high rises and the town houses in window frames, doors, sunscreens, garden fences, outdoor sculpture, and staircases. Of particular note is the grillwork, punched from aluminum sheets.

The town houses are arranged around smaller courtyard spaces and parking is removed to the periphery of the site. While the landscaping is admirable for its uncluttered directness, it appears bleak when compared to the verdure of Capitol Park and the variety at Tiber Island and Carrollsburg Square.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "River Park", [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, 241-242.

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