Baker Building, Washington DC
The site of the Baker Building forms part of the low scale commercial area north of Pennsylvania Avenue erected in Washington in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This building is one of three similar commercial structures designed by the local architectural firm of Marsh and Peter. The street facades display the firm's versatility of manipulating traditional architectural styles of the commercial vernacular which dominates F Street between 9th and 15th Streets. This building synthesizes classical elements with an essentially modern commercial design.
According to the Baists map of 1919, the existing Baker Building replaced a previous Baker Building, which housed the Von Unschuld School of Music. The present Baker Building held the Reid Baker Photo Shop, The building later rented to Gartens Leather, Regal Shoes, and Raleighs (for personnel, display and advertising offices).
Overall dimensions: This building is three-stories high with a basement. Rectangular in plan, it measures approximately 49' x 120'. The parapet height is 50' above F Street. The building is three bays wide and six bays deep.
First Floor: The first floor consists of a small retail store on the east, longitudinal in plan, with a single run staircase along the store's west wall leading to the second floor. West of this space is a north-south corridor lined with offices. Two sets of stairs and an elevator are located at the rear of the building.
Second and third floors: These floors are similar. The entire east bay is occupied by a dog-leg stair that serves all floors and the roof- The west bay consists of a single room accessible through the L-shaped corridor that connects the assemblage of alley structures.