Historic Structures

W. Taylor Birch House, Washington DC

Date added: October 21, 2010 Categories: House

3099 Q Street, N.W. is a good example of an end of the nineteenth century Victorian baroque mansion. Both on the interior and exterior it is a pretender to the title of "grand residence". The academic picturesqueness of the exterior is complemented by the formal textural richness of the interior. Because of the manner in which it dominates a key site in Georgetown (southeast of Tudor Place) it is a critical node in the architectural structure of the northeast area.

3099 Q Street is located at the northwest corner of 31st and Q Streets with its north wall approximately 55' north of the centerline of Q Street, The dimensions of the "L" shaped three story brick residence are approximately 50' for the nominally east-west leg and approximately 35' for the nominally north-south leg.

In 1926 when the Lewis family moved in, they chose to change the address from 1601 Congress Street to the present address on Q Street. Mr. Ernest Lewis was Commissioner of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1929 and President of the Georgetown Citizens Association in 1938.

The first floor plan of this asymmetrically planned house has an entry hall at the northwest, the living room at the southeast and a pantry at the northwest. This pantry is connected to the basement kitchen by a dumbwaiter at the southeast corner of the pantry.

The second floor has one bedroom each at the north, west and south, a study at the southwest, and a bath at the northeast.

On the third floor there are three bedrooms; one each at the northwest, southwest, and southeast. In addition there is a bath at the center of the east half of the house and a small kitchen has been added in the mid-20th century at the northeast corner of the plan.

The full basement contains, at present, a series of storage rooms and a laundry. Evidence of the use of the east half as a kitchen in the 19th century is to be found in the cast iron stove that remains.

3099 Q Street dominates the northeast corner of 31st Street and Q streets from its hillside site. It sits on an embankment approximately 4' above sidewalk grade at the south. Tudor Place is located to the northwest and the Lewis house formerly was fronted by companion large brick mansions at the southeast and southwest corners of 31st and Q.