Washington DC’s Historic Preservation Review Board is currently considering whether to grant landmark status to the city’s only round house –
According to the Prince of Petworth blog, the house, located at 1001 Irving Street in DC’s Brookland neighborhood, “was built in 1901 by a prominent Brookland builder, John C. Louthan, who lived in another house he himself built at 12th and Irving (now gone).” The architect, Edward Woltz, “was a very busy designer of modest houses in the city.”
“There is no information about why Woltz and Louthan chose the odd shape for their house — octagon and round houses were a short fad in the US in the 1850s but had stopped being built by the Civil War and revivals of this style are rare.”
A woman who owned it until recently — who inherited the house from her aunt — said that its shape was impractical. Her aunt, she said, “had furniture special-made to fit the walls.” Her aunt also had all the upstairs furniture delivered through a second-floor window because the spiral staircase in the center of the house was too narrow for furniture to fit.