Kalorama Triangle -Washington DC


Kalorama Triangle Historic District, Biltmore Street
NPS Photo

This area historically was part of the 19th century estate “Kalorama” and enjoyed a reputation for its natural ambience. It was not until the turn of the century that urban development extended the city of Washington into and beyond the borders of this area. The land that now comprises Kalorama Triangle was subdivided in the early 1880s. It was the redelineation of Connecticut Avenue (1897-1907) in conjunction with construction of bridges and the introduction of two major streetcar lines that formed Kalorama Triangle and established its urban character.

Kalorama Triangle, due to the contracted period of time during which it was developed, as well the awareness of architectural styles, is a particularly important illustration of the aesthetics of middle-class speculative housing during the early years of the 20th century. The neighborhood is composed both of examples of high style architecture and modest builder-designed dwellings, but it is primarily a showcase for the stylistic variations of popular trends. Three important styles are abundant in Kalorama Triangle: English Arts and Crafts, Georgian Revival and Mediterranean (including both Italian and Spanish derivatives).

The first house constructed on the newly subdivided land was the Fuller House NR in 1893 at 2317 Ashmead Place. This house, designed by its owner, Thomas Fuller, is an early and important representation of the influence of the English Arts and Crafts Movement on residential architecture in the United States.

Brighton Apartments, California Street, NW, 2100 Block, c. 1915
Historical Society of Washington, DC

In 1898, Walter Peter introduced the Georgian Revival style into the district with his design for the residence at 1842 Mintwood Place. This style met with great popularity as a mode for rowhouse design. An example of the Colonial Revival style is 1901 Biltmore Street. It was built in 1901 by Alex Miller to the design of Speiden and Speiden. Several dwellings, 1848 and 1923 Biltmore Street, for example, illustrate a mixture of both Mediterranean and Georgian Revival styles. A.R.Taylor built 1923 Biltmore Street in 1907 and Arthur B. Heaton designed 1848 Biltmore Street in 1909.

1850 and 1852 Biltmore Street provide the most handsome examples of the Mediterranean influence in the Kalorama Triangle. They were designed and built by W. Granville Guss for himself in 1911. The popularity of the Spanish Revival style rose in the 1920s. The firm of Sonneman and Justement designed a row of houses on Ashmead Place that were built in 1921.

Other significant buildings are listed below:

Lothrop Mansion NR
200l Connecticut Avenue
1908 Hornblower and Marshall

Woodward Apartments
2311 Connecticut Avenue
1913 Harding and Upman

2029 Connecticut
1915-17 Hunter and Bell

Kalorama Triangle presents many building types and a variety of styles. Its buildings are important both individually and for their relationship to each other. They present a visually rich medium composed of picturesque streets lined with rows of three-and four-story dwellings and anchored by solid blocks of multi-family apartments. Together, the form, size, scale, and the ornament materialize into a significant period piece.

Kalorama Triangle is roughly bounded by Columbia Rd., NW, on the east and south; Connecticut Ave., NW, Rock Creek Park on the west; and the rear of the properties on the north side of Calvert St., NW, on the north. The buildings referred to above are private and not open to the public. Metro stop: Woodley Park/Zoo.