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Jackson Place

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1840s–1870s

Both interior and exterior renovations on all the buildings on Jackson and Madison places were carried out when the New Executive Office Building and the Court of Claims (see WH06) were built; the interiors of many of the buildings were opened and connected internally to create expansive new government office spaces.

With one exception, all of the buildings on Jackson Place are three-story brick buildings, although six have additional attic stories above the cornice line. The only architect known for these houses is the one for Decatur House (see WH08). The Italianate Dr. Peter Parker House ( WH07.1) (1860–1861, number 700) has an entry and a cornice that are similar to those of its earlier, undated neighbor, the Edward D. Townsend House ( WH07.2), indicating that the latter building was probably renovated at the same time. The William P. Trowbridge House ( WH07.3) (number 708), built in 1859, retains much of its simple Italianate decoration. The Henry J. Rathbone House ( WH7.4) (number 712) is undated but stylistically appears to be from the 1840s with its mansard roof added later. Number 716 ( WH07.5) was erected in 1867–1868 by Mary Jesup Blair as an investment property; the bracketed cornice, mansard roof, and Italianate door and window details are still intact. The five infill buildings, by John Carl Warnecke, at 718–726 and 740–744, although undistinguished themselves, maintain the nineteenth-century scale and regulating lines established by the bay systems, floor levels, and cornice lines of their neighbors. Those at 718–726 include an entry to an interior courtyard, an important innovation in Washington where much space on the interiors of blocks is wasted.

The Italianate brown-stone at 730, the William J. Murtagh House ( WH07.6), with its finely carved, boldly projecting window frames, bracketed cornice, and doorway, is so beautifully proportioned as to suggest a skilled, but as yet unknown, architect. The date of the Charles G. Glover House ( WH07.7) (number 734) is unknown, but its tall, narrow proportions and incised Neo-Grec ornament, particularly the gearlike character of the door brackets, indicate that it probably dates from the 1880s. The sophisticated composition of the William L. Marcy House ( WH07.8) (number 736), with its two double window bays introducing the only round-arch elements on the street, indicates that it was also designed by a trained, but unknown, architect. The gradation and character of the decorative detail, from the most elaborately sculpted on the first floor to triangular pediments on the second story and flat lintels on the third, suggest a date in the 1870s.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee
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Data

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Citation

Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee, "Jackson Place", [Washington, District of Columbia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/DC-01-WH07.

Print Source

Buildings of the District of Columbia, Pamela Scott and Antoinette J. Lee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 160-160.

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