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Harbour Square

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1963–1966, Chloethiel Woodard Smith; Dan Kiley. 4th, N, and O streets and the waterfront
  • Harbour Square

Following the triumph of Capitol Park, Smith designed another innovative housing cluster, Harbour Square. Apartment towers dominate a U-shaped water garden court and ground-level motor court. The complex faces the Washington Channel; at the rear closest to 4th Street, low-rise apartments and town houses are arranged around the perimeter of the block. Incorporating Wheat Row and several other remnants of the Southwest Quadrant's housing history, this section aimed to re-create around a quadrangle the complexity of an urban form evolved over several centuries.

The outstanding feature of the project, however, is the careful landscaping, beginning with the pedestrian and automobile entrance. Hanging plants suspended from the terrace above the motor court give this otherwise utilitarian feature the character of a botanical garden. Beyond the terrace, a oneacre water garden is ornamented with fountains, sculpture, and platforms; a green lawn and grove of trees beyond the water provide a sense of privacy. In the distance, the Washington Channel and Potomac River form appropriate backdrops.

Writing Credits

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee


What's Nearby


Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Harbour Square", [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, 242-242.

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