Historic Structures

Cullinan Building, Washington DC

Date added: November 23, 2010 Categories: Commercial

The facade of this structure was adapted from a design by G.E. Harney which was featured as the frontispiece in Bicknell's Street, Store and Bank Fronts, published in 1878. It is an extremely rich, highly textured fine example of the early commercial architecture Washington. The earliest occupant of the building was Men's furnishings and clothier business. From 1895-1918 Mayer & Pettit Men's Clothing, Furniture and Carpeting Company occupied the building. More recently, a furniture and clothing store was housed in the building.

Built 1n 1883, this four-story, three-bay brick commercial structure is twenty-six feet wide, ninety-five deep and sixty-six feet high. It is located approximately one hundred twenty-five feet from the southwest corner of Square 457 and faces west toward Seventh Street. Set flush with its smaller contiguous neighbors, its polychromatic facade is richly modeled and incorporates carved stone and ornamental iron work in its pressed brick fabric. Groups of three arcaded windows, stilted on the second and third floors and segmental on the fourth, are centered on the facade. The whole is framed by superimposed orders of brick pilasters and crowned by a tall and highly decorative brick cornice. At ground level, an Art Deco storefront has maroon and beige carrera glass. A tin roof, not visible from the street, slopes slightly to the east. Inside, each floor consists of a single open space (though several partitions have been added) with a stair and elevator at the northeast and southeast corners, respectively. A mezzanine with service rooms occupies the east end of the tall ground floor. Most recently occupied by a furniture and clothing store (Union Clothing and Furniture Company), the building is now empty. Its facade, probably damaged by excavation and construction beneath Seventh Street, is held in place by timber braces.

Overall dimensions: 25'7" X 95'(deep); 3 bays wide; 4 stories with basement; rectangular in shape.

The building is all open with small office area at the east end of the building. The entrance is on the west wall and opens into the first floor which is the only part of the building that is presently being used.

As part of the Pennsylvania Ave. Development Corp.'s redevelopment plans for this area the Seventh St. facade and party walls are to be dismantled for eventual re-erection on the same site, as part of the Gallery Row adaptive Re-Use plan by Hartman-Cox Architects for Gallery Row Associates Partnership