From the Forum – History of the Park Regent Apartments in Mount Pleasant?


History of the Park Regent Apartments in Mount Pleasant

“The Park Regent is a beautiful building and I’ve been trying to do some research on its history but have found nothing so I was wondering if anyone out there knew anything about this building (when it was built, the architect etc.)? The building has one bedroom apartments and studio apartments and one of the things I’m really curious about is if the studios were always studios or are they converted two bedroom apartments or something. It seems weird to have an old building with that kind of setup – of one bedrooms and studios.”

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14 Comment

  • You can find out when it was built and who the architect was at the MLK Library — specifically, the Washingtoniana room upstairs. Ask the librarians.
    Information about the interior will likely be harder to find.

  • There’s an excellent and detailed document that was prepared as justification when Mt. Pleasant was designated as an historic district. The National Park Service manages the National Register of Historic Places, so they should have the document. Not sure if it’s available online.

  • You could also ask Historic Mount Pleasant–they have a website that is largely outdated but does have contact information. Another option is to consult Mara Cherkasky, a local author who has concentrated on MtP. She has a couple books about the architecture. At least one is on Amazon. Good luck, and please report back if you find anything.

  • I believe the Park Regent is a Harry Wardman!

  • I used to live at the yorkshire on 16th street and was told a lot of the buildings in the area, including the yorkshire, were designed as one bedrooms and/or studios to house single people who moved here to support the war effort (world war II). Not sure if that’s true of all buildings but it seems plausable.

    • *plausible

    • This was built long before WWII. It may have been altered for that purpose. Many of the larger buildings were altered for that reason. Places like the Ontario or 1870 Wyoming are exceptions. The Ontario had many small as well as large units from the start.

  • Not sure why you would find that weird. The building also has 2-bedroom apartmets. But many older buildings were built in DC with smaller and larger apartments. I lived in a grand ld building built very early in the 1900s that had some large apartments (3 and 4 bedrooms), some two, some one-bedroom, and, many of the one-bedrooms from when it was built were considered “bachelor” apartments – they had a bedroom, a sitting room, and a bathroom, but no kitchen. There was a dining room on the first floor where apparently the bachelors (and others) could eat – I believe such apartment building restaurants were open to the public as well – the bachelors were not expected to do their own cooking. Small kitchenettes were added to these apartments much later. Being a city without true citizens, a capital that drew all sorts of people to DC for work purposes, it likely had a lot of apartments built for one early on.

  • I would search on the address in the Washington Post (subscription archival product) and the free Chronicling America Project. In case the building wasn’t always referred to as the Park Regent. Most of what I have seen is mentioning individual people or one particular business. I did find 2 articles that might be of interest: “Refugees Caught in D.C. Condo Battle” (Donnel Nunes Washington Post Staff Writer. The Washington Post 9 July 1980: C5) and another article from 1979 – ‘We Try to Accommodate to Life Here’ (Stevens, Joann. The Washington Post 01 Nov 1979: DC5).

    • I was looking at the Sanborn Maps (v. 3 1927/28 sheet 391) and I think at that time the apartments may have been referred to as the Wellington Apartments. They obviously weren’t in the 1909-1916 (vol 1 sheet 109 created in 1903) edition since they were built after that.

  • From the D.C. Office of Planning: “Also in 1909, prolific developer Harry Wardman erected The Wellington, the handsome U-shaped building at 1701 Park Road now known as The Park Regent. Its façade is composed of red and beige brick arranged in a striking pattern now unfortunately obscured by paint. The architect was A.H. Beers.” This is from pg 4 of this guide to historic Mt. Pleasant from OP:

  • Many buildings were altered during WWII because of the shortage of housing in DC.

    As noted above, the tiny kitchens that are common in DC have a lot to do with the history of apartment building dining room/restaurants that were common and often open to the public. I had a studio in Chicago that had an actual eat-in kitchen unlike anything similar in DC. I had a one bedroom in Cleveland that had an actual dining room, as well as a legit eat-in kitchen and the unit was not advertised as a 1 br+dining room as it would be here.. Both dated from the 20s. Few DC buildings built in the early 20th century could match those kinds of kitchens because there often was a ready alternative.

  • The 1942 Polk DC city directory (the last one published until after the end of World War II) lists 1701 Park Road NW as the Wellington Apartments. It had one basement apartment; apartments numbered 100-104, 106-112, 114; 200-210, 212, 214; 301-310, 312, 314; and 401-410, 412, and 414. Only one apartment was listed as “vacant.”

  • I live in the Park Regent and I just asked the property manager. He said that the studios were converted from two and three bedroom apartments in the 1950s. And yes, it is a Wardman building!

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