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Featured Tour Sites
At Last: The Tapies
The Tapies is the most asked-for building we have never been able to get on the House Tour -- until now. It is our great pleasure to finally be able to welcome tour-goers to this extraordinary location, compliments of new neighbor John Taylor who generously agreed to have his remarkable acquisition on the tour.
For many years, the 21 foot-wide space in the 1600 block of 16th Street, NW, sandwiched between two towering apartment buildings, housed a one-story Chinese restaurant. Now a breathtaking new nine-story construction of steel, masonry, and glass stands as an exquisite example of infilling a narrow, overlooked site into one that is stylistically different from, but in sync with, its neighbors. This is due at least in part to the hoops of steel included by Bonstra Haresign Architects to accommodate planters, which soften the angular form of the building and are one of its most distinctive features.
The building is a work of art on the outside and its interiors are designed to display works of art, with oversized walls and natural light streaming in through eastern facing double height floor-to-ceiling windows and western facing balconies off each bedroom. The apartment has a broad view of the tower of the Holy City Church across the street, the historic townhouses south of the Church, and to the north of the Church, the Chastleton Apartments.
Swann Street: Not an Ugly Duckling
The owner calls it a “Plain Jane” but this two story brick structure, circa 1920, epitomizes why we love House Tour -- for the fun of discovering something you’d never imagine was there. Marcy Logan fell in love with the work of artist Robert E. Kuhn (1918-2000) and has turned her home into a showcase for his very varied oeuvre of paintings, drawings, murals, sculptures and artifacts.
Art surrounds and surprises at every turn -- living room, dining room, staircase, balcony, guest room, kitchen. This is a charming abode of whimsy and enchantment, drenched in color, washed with light, and finished off with the owner’s witty collectibles, revealing a joyful sensibility to match the artist’s delightful aesthetic.
A one-of-a-kind home like this is not to be missed.
Kurdistan Regional Government US Headquarters
This Victorian era brownstone designed by T. F. Schneider is now home to the Regional Government of Kurdistan. Meticulously restored with opulent interiors to match the original features, the RGK headquarters also houses a treasured collection of paintings, sculpture, and icons. Kurdish artwork juxtaposes great mirth and terrible suffering much as the history of the region of its origin.
The beautiful new Headquarters proudly takes its place among the ranks of local embassy brethren as an elegant and welcoming place of Kurdish civilization in support of its people, and for the edification and enrichment of the general population.
We are honored to be able to offer it on the tour this year.
Scottish Rite Temple
Aside from the White House, perhaps the most famous building with a 16th Street address is the House of the Temple, the headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in the Southern Jurisdiction of the US. You may have seen it in the movie, The Day the Earth Stood Still, or more recently when it played a leading role in author Dan Brown’s blockbuster novel, The Lost Symbol. Designed by the famous neo-classicist architect John Russell Pope and built by a collection of some of the greatest craftsman of their time, the House of the Temple has been open to the public for guided tours since it opened in 1915.
Today, it is still on the lists of building lovers’ “must-sees” in American construction, and an example of neo-classic design in its highest form for architecture students the world over. And at almost 100 years old, the House of the Temple remains one of Washington’s distinctive architectural treasures, and the Scottish Rite, the organization who owns it, the caretakers of a true “National Treasure.”
Green In Dupont
This 20th Century row house was transformed from a number of fragmented rooms into an open, flexible, “green” living space, incorporating ample day-lighting and an abundance of sustainable design solutions. The home is filled with sophisticated, sustainable technologies aimed at maintaining a clean, minimal, aesthetic ambiance, while also minimizing waste.
The most notable and almost invisible green feature is located in the basement-- a water system that reuses bath and sink water. This “gray water system” was the first one to be used in D.C.