Historic Structures

Construction History Lansburgh's Department Store, Washington DC

The first element of the Lansburgh complex was 420-424 7th Street which was built in 1882, at a cost of $30,000, to house the original Lansburgh & Brother Department Store. It was designed by the prominent Washington architectural firm of Cluss & Schulze. It was four stories in height with "Mansard, Romanesque, and Italianate styling, with intricate pressed brick and wood detailing" (Building Permit #940, 22 March 1882). This building was expanded one bay to the north in 1884 (Building Permit #100, 16 August 1884).

428 7th Street (c. 1855) was originally Harbaugh's Inn. In 1912 the party walls between 426 and 428 7th Street were removed. The interior of the building was renovated at the same time to annex the structure to the existing Lansburgh complex (Building Permit #6148, 24 June 1912) George S. Cooper was the architect of 430 7th Street (Building Permit 7th Street were removed and replaced with steel columns and girders (Building Permit #899, 21 August 1916). 418 7th Street was the final addition to the Lansburgh & Brother 7th Street store when it was annexed in 1920. This building was built in 1863. An opening, with firedoors, was cut in the north wall of the building on the second and third floors to provide connections to 420 7th Street (Building Permit #6098, 1 May 1920).

In 1940, the 7th Street Lansburgh & Brother Building was united by its the Art Deco/Moderne facade which was designed by Porter & Locke Architects (Building Permit #231699, 25 April 1940 and Building Permit #230702, 25 March 1940). It is relatively stark and features few decorations.

There is a pressed metal ceiling in the basement of 418 7th Street. It has a quatrefoil pattern with an imposed cross and decorative corner arabesque. Pressed metal ceiling, coves, and beam coverings are found on the first, third, and fourth floor ceilings. The ceiling tiles have a pattern of concentric squares. An egg and dart cove surrounds the perimeter of the space and follows the structural beams which are covered with a rubble relief. The central portion of the third floor has round, fluted cast iron columns with stylized leaf form capitals.