Category: urban amenities

The Exquisite Thomas T. Gaff House

Built for a Cincinnati industrialist in 1904 and designed by the prominent NYC society architect Bruce Price and the equally prominent Washington,DC society architect Jules Henri de Sibour, this house is strikingly beautiful with its steep Mansard roof, strong visual contrast between the deep red brick walls and white stone quoins, and compact yet soaring massing.

As architecturally impressive as the exterior is, it is outdone by the interior with its rich wood paneling and the sense of movement from space to space, and grand ballroom.

The building is now the Embassy of Columbia’s ambassador’s residence.

De Sibour designed many grand residences in the Embassy Row neighborhood, including 1785 Mass. Ave.,the former headquarters of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. (photograph by (c) Bill Lebovich,2016)Thomas T. Gaff House (1).jpg

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Georgetown’s late 18th, early 19th century domestic architecture

One of the most popular rows for tourists is also one of the best rows.  The power of simple motifs repeated down the row creates a sense of harmony, rhythm, and horizontal and vertical movement.  No American architectural style achieved so much with such restraint.  In most periods, such as classical revival, Richardsonian Romanesque — all great styles, and the post modernismGeorgetownIMG_5488_DxOVP (1).jpg, architects depend on bold statements to say their design is important architecture.

Art Deco beauty in Philadelphia

This is a detail from the 1929/1930 (different sources give different dates for completion) skyscraper in downtown Philadelphia.  It has been converted from an office building to a Marriot Hotel.  Ritter & Shay were the architects.

The panels beautifully express the boldness, originality,and exuberance of the Art Deco—-at the beginning of the Great Depression.Market Street Nat. Bank.jpg

Montrose Park

Montrose Park is an eleven acre park in Georgetown at R and 31st Streets,NW,which is part of Rock Creek Park.  Sarah Louise Rittenhouse,who lived in Georgetown, gave the money to acquire the land to assure that it remained open land, rather than be developed.

Montrose Park,the adjacent Dumbarton Oak Park, and Rock Creek Park are units of the National Park Service.IMG_1522 (1).jpgIMG_1522.jpg

 

Limited seating,free squating

Chevy Chase Circle,planned in late 19th century.  Boundary marker between Maryland and District of Columbia is a 20th century replacement (more ornamental) for original markers.  There is another one on the other side of the fountain.IMG_1479.jpg