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The Kenesaw Building: The Suburbs of 1906 Washington, D.C.

Take a journey back in time to the suburbs of 1906 Washington, D.C. and explore the Kenesaw Building in Mt. Pleasant. Learn about its history, famous resident, and the opposition it faced in construction.
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It’s still amusing to me when the papers refer to anything north of Boundary St. (i.e., Florida Avenue) as the suburbs. I came across an article in the Washington Times from 1906, highlighting some new construction in Mt. Pleasant.

The building of apartment houses goes on apace, and while the timid observer continues to deplore the increasing number and predict a sudden reversal of the demand, the shrewd investor finds them a constant source of satisfaction and profit, and the number of new and handsome ones built in the past two years makes a very creditable showing for the high opinion in which capitalists hold them, and have also proven that they are becoming more and more a popular form or residence for Washington’s increasing population. Nor can it be said that they interfere in any way with the building of private houses, as the record for the year past shows that the building of that class has exceded [sic] all other periods.

The Kenesaw, located on the triangle bounded by new Sixteenth street, Kenesaw avenue and Mt. Pleasant avenue, is situated on the highest point of Sixteenth, giving an unobstructed view of the White house and all the city to the south, east, and west.

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I’m sure it was an extremely impressive structure upon completion with tremendous views from the roof. It also had a very famous resident in the form of Walter Johnson. It continues …

The construction is absolutely fireproof, and all rooms have front outlooks. As no other building can be erected nearer than across the streets, the question of ample light and air seems well assured. The apartments range from two to seven rooms and are all furnished with bath.

The architectural appearance, which is of a most pleasing character, reflects the taste of George W. Stone, while the engineering construction was looked after by F. L. Averill.

It will be recalled that some considerable opposition arose to the granting of the permit for the construction of this house, but as the owners were well within the law, the opposition failed to do more than delay the permission a short time.

By the way, if you’re wondering what Kenesaw Ave. is, check out this post I did on street names in Columbia Heights.

The Kenesaw a view from the northeast (Flickr user: parkview dc)
The Kenesaw a view from the northeast (Flickr user: parkview dc)
The Kenesaw a view from the northeast (Flickr user: parkview dc)
The Kenesaw a view from the northeast (Flickr user: parkview dc)

The two photos similar photos above are from Kent Boese on Flickr. He has some great ones on there, so you should check them out. He also wrote a great piece about the building back in 2010, so check that out also.

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