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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
U Street Corridor in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A Prestige Address

City Within a City

 

—Greater U Street Heritage Trail —

 
A Prestige Address Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 27, 2018
1. A Prestige Address Marker
Inscription. The grand Beaux-Arts buildings near this corner stand witness to the status of this area in early 20th century Washington, and as tribute to the indomitable spirit of Mary Foote Henderson. The wealthy wife of Senator John B. Henderson, she lived one block from here at 16th and Florida Avenue in a Romanesque castle and spent decades promoting 16th Street as the prestige address in the nation's capital. In the 1980s, she was instrumental in having 16th Street extended into the still undeveloped land just north of here.

Developers followed, and in 1900 the Balfour Apartment building went across the street to the west at a cost of $100,000, making it one of the most expensive structures of its kind in the city. Designed by Washington architect George S. Cooper, it offered 36 large, luxurious apartments.

Prestigious apartments continued to spring up in this neighborhood providing popular accommodations for congressmen, military personnel, and other federal government officials. The Northumberland, just north of here on the east side of the street at 2039 New Hampshire Avenue, is a remarkably preserved example. Architect Albert H. Beers created its Renaissance-inspired design in 1909 for prolific Washington builder Harry Wardman. The building featured such innovations as a public dining room, trash chutes from each
A Prestige Address Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 27, 2018
2. A Prestige Address Marker
kitchen, wall safes, and a telephone switchboard which has operated 24 hours a day since the building opened in 1910.

The impressive Beaux-Arts building on the corner behind you was built in 1914 for the Congressional Club, founded in 1908 on another site as a non-partisan gathering place for the spouses of members of Congress. Mary Henderson provided the land, substantial construction funds, and her favorite architect, George Oakley Totten, Jr. He designed nine other mansions for Mary Henderson along 16th Street, which she rented to foreign embassies. She even encouraged the president of the Untied States to move from the White House into her 16th Street neighborhood, but in that she did not succeed.
 
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 12 of 14.)
 
Location. 38° 55.047′ N, 77° 2.183′ W. Marker is in U Street Corridor, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of 16th Street Northwest and New Hampshire Avenue NW, on the right when traveling north on 16th Street Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2001 16th St NW, Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Shared Neighborhood (about 500 feet away, measured in a
A Prestige Address Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, January 27, 2018
3. A Prestige Address Marker
direct line); Mrs. Henderson's Legacy (about 500 feet away); You are in the "Strivers' Section" (about 500 feet away); Paul Laurence Dunbar Apartments (about 600 feet away); Meridian Hill Park (about 600 feet away); Saint Augustine Roman Catholic Church (about 700 feet away); James Buchanan (about 700 feet away); A Gathering Place for Washingtonians (about 700 feet away).
 
Categories. ArchitecturePoliticsWomen
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 29, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 27, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 31 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 27, 2018, by Devry Becker Jones of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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