Time To Judge An Old Building


We’ve had some fun judging new construction but I passed a really cool building last weekend that I’m curious for your opinions. It is located at 2633 16th Street and appears to be an apartment building. It’s pretty wild, yeah? Do you dig it? If so do you like this style better than the more modern buildings?

9 Comment

  • I’m a big fan of this building, it was redone about 6? 7? years ago. The rebuild consisted of completely gutting the structure down to bare walls. It’s apartments now, I think.

    I’m down with the castle-mansion style, much better than the ‘new stuff’.

  • I looked at renting an apartment in this building a few years ago, it’s pretty cool. Each apt was very different, lots of “nooks and crannys” around, way more character than brand-new buildings. Of course, I’m into that sort of thing, so if you like brand-new stuff, maybe this isn’t your cup of tea.

  • Love it, I want a turret and a balcony!


    With its four story turret, fortress-like stone walls, and decorative arches, Warder Mansion takes one back to another age and time. A time when America’s wealthiest built castles on the scale of European nobility. Now fully restored to its original grandeur, every detail of today’s Warder Mansion celebrates its storied past.

    Warder Mansion was designed by H.H. Richardson in 1888. It was built at 1515 K Street for Benjamin Warder, the owner of the company that later became International Harvester. In 1925, in an effort to save the mansion from demolition, George Oakley Totten purchased and moved the house, piece by piece in his Model T Ford, to its current 16th Street location.

    Despite the Warder-Totten house being listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972,the vacant building slowly deteriorated. In 1996, the D.C. Preservation League declared Warder Mansion as a Most Endangered Place.

    No longer neglected, this architectural treasure has been transformed into 38 luxury apartment homes, thanks to the efforts of Main Street Realty. Throughout the mansion, you will find traces of its past–details dating back to 1885. To believe the remarkable beauty and unparalleled restoration, you must see this mansion for yourself.


  • It’s an old mansion and was at one point home to Antioch Law School which semi-flourished in the 70’s as a trade school for lefty-type activist lawyers before falling on hard times and being cut off by its parent, Antioch College in Ohio. They tried to merge with UDC during the Congress/Crack years of the 80’s, but that fell through and it sat vacant for a while and there was, at one point, a crackhead-related fire that threatened the whole thing. Eventually, somebody gussied it up and turned it into the condo cliff you see today.

    I believe it originally sat somewhere else and was moved, stone by stone to its present location. I’ve always loved it and long fantasized about buying it and restoring it myself. If only for a few hundred grand…

    On the building: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/display.php?id=7519

    On the Law School: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE1DD1338F93BA35751C0A961948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all

  • Each style has its time and place. This one is fine and nice. But that does not mean modern buildings are not fine and nice too.

  • There’s more detailed information on the Warder Mansion, I believe, in Sue Kohler’s two volume set “Sixteenth Street Architecture”, published by GPO in the late 1970s.

  • that history is fantastic, petworthy. How cool would it be to live in a building designed by H.H. Richardson? So glad the building was saved and reimagined into a new space to keep it from being demolished.

  • when i moved to DC in 1998, that building was completely abandoned and had saplings growing on the balconies. i used to pass it regularly and think “damn, that place would make KILLER condos.” glad someone with the money to bring it back to life did so!

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