Judging Buildings – Kennedy Warren

I know we’ve spoken about the Kennedy Warren, located at 3133 Connecticut Ave, NW in Cleveland Park, before but it seems like everytime I pass it, I notice another cool detail. I wonder if the elephants were incorporated because of the nearby zoo or another reason?

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  • the addition they built a few years ago was beautifully done to match the original structure.

    interesting wikipedia entry:

  • I know “judging buildings” is mostly an architectural thing, but they’ve got a sweet cocktail bar in there for the residents, and the lobby walls are covered in totally awesome pictures of the DC area circa 1930-1950. It’s worth a visit just to check out the lobby!

  • I used to make deliveries to this building, 3133 Connecticut Avenue, NW, and looked forward to it every time.

    Devoted visionaries, Ed Kennedy and Monroe Warren went bankrupt during the Great Depression building this spectacular complex, the citadel of Art Deco design in Washington, D.C.

    Fortunately, financier BF Saul who foreclosed on the mortgage in 1931 and still owns it today, never let it go down. And it’s still a rental apartment building.

    Kennedy and Warren may have gone bankrupt, but what a building they left us.

    There’s no building like The Kennedy-Warren. This is the only apartment building in Washington I know of that has a ballroom like a hotel.

    The elephant and aztec eagle reliefs are carved of the same Indiana limestone that comprise the rest of this huge building (for Washington) that rises eleven stories above ground and another five or six levels below the street level lobby.

    The Trumans and the Johnsons both lived there at The Kennedy-Warren before moving to the White House.

    Next time you walk over that bridge that separates Woodley Park from Cleveland Park PoP, go inside take some pictures of the two level lobby and the elevator doors restored to their original Art Deco splendor. Long ago, I used to make deliveries there. It’s fabulous.

  • It’s a beautiful building. Apartments in the old part are full of cool, original details, like built-in book shelves and china cabinets, but they’re also lacking modern amenities like garbage disposals and dishwashers.

    The new wing is equally as beautiful and has everything a new apartment would need, but the units are super-ridiculously overpriced.

    • Urban construction is so super-ridiculously overpriced and over regulated.

      B.F. Saul spent more than $50 million in the new apartments and in the restoration of the old.

      Not sold as condominiums, it will take another generation or two of B.F. Saul carrying this extraordinary property to see any return on this investment.

      No other developer today would. It takes old local Washington family landlords like Saul, Bliss, and Cafritz to do this. By the way, their devotion to their properties is not being replaced by others who seek only a quick buck.

      • Had they sold them as condos, they would’ve sold out in 24 hours and for equally ridiculous prices. And of course most of the units would’ve been foreclosed upon by now, but that’s another story.

        • Selling apartments, new or old, was not an option. The building was occupied by long time tenants that weren’t going anywhere.

          The point here is that B.F. Saul restored and renovated old apartments and built new ones when nobody else in the city would do this because it’s not economically feasible and yet they did.

  • The studio apartments in that building are bigger than the one bedrooms they build now. You can hear the lions roar at the zoo early in the morning. Weren’t the tenants fighting with B.F. Saul a few years ago because he wanted to gut the historic wing and force the old tenants out under the disguise of “renovations”?

    • ah

      I think by “force” you mean “offer them some large amount of money to move so that they could renovate those apartments”.

      But, yes, there was a fight. The developer wanted to totally redo the old wing all at the same time, which is tough to do if tenants are still living there. So he made offers to move them that some considered insufficiently generous for their inconvenience.

  • Expensive as hell to rent, but what an incredible place!

  • The Kennedy-Warren had an early air-conditioning system when built that took the cooler air down at Rock Creek and circulated it throughout the building. Ingenious!

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