Field Guide to Georgetown Homes: The Odd Ones Out

GM is at the beach this week, in his absence enjoy this rerun of his series on Georgetown architecture:

This week GM has been delving into the varieties of historic architecture that we have around Georgetown. For the final installment he is going to highlight the odd ones out, in other words the homes that weren’t built in the dominant styles of Federal, Greek Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne and Romanesque.

First up: Neoclassical

The Neoclassical style was born at the 1893 Chicago’s World Columbian Exposition, where some of the greatest architects of the time gathered to design a grand city of monumental buildings based in the classical style. Since nearly 26 million people visited the “White City”, this new style had wide exposure and quickly became a dominant building style in the early 20th century. Downtown DC was basically rebuilt in the White City’s image.

But for some reason it simply did not make much of a dent in Georgetown. There is just one Neoclassical building that GM could find, the Hurt Home across from Montrose Park (update: the Volta Bureau is certainly Neo-Classical too):

Hurt Home - Neoclassical

Up in the same neigborhood, you’ll find a row of French Eclectic homes at the corner of Q and 30th. They’re identifiable by their steeply pitched roofs and round towers. This style was popular from the 1910’s to the 1920’s:

Scattered throughout Georgetown are a couple examples of Gothic Revival. The most obvious example is Christ Church, but a couple of domestic examples of Gothic Revival are clustered at the top of 31st st.:

There’s a Dutch Colonial on S St. (you can tell them by their flared eaves):

Dutch Colonial

And surprisingly enough, there are even a couple straight up modern homes in Georgetown. An Art Moderne home on Reservoir:

Art Moderne House

and Joe Alsop’s home:

Joe Alsop's Home

And last, but certainly not least, there’s a Japanese house on 28th st. Does anyone know the story about this house? It’s so cool:

Japanese House

Again, GM would like to credit Virginia and Lee McAlester’s “A Field Guide to American Houses“ for providing most of the historical information presented this week.

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5 Comments

Filed under Architecture

5 responses to “Field Guide to Georgetown Homes: The Odd Ones Out

  1. asuka

    Not Japanese.

  2. GM

    Oh my mistake. What style is it then? My second guess obviously would be Chinese, but clearly I don’t know that much about Asian architecture.

  3. GM

    Thanks. I should add that since I wrote this last year I realized that the Volta Bureau is also Neoclassical.

  4. Cyndy

    From what I have heard, it was the house of a former U.S. Ambassador or emissary to the People’s Republic of China who decorated in this manner.

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