On Sunday, September 13, 2015, Beth Purcell gave a walking tour of the North Lincoln Park area.
The tour, co-sponsored by the North Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association (NLPNA), covered the 200 and 300 blocks of 14th Street, 200 and 300 blocks of Tennessee Avenue, 1300 blocks of C and D Streets, and Constitution Avenue, Corbin Place, and Warren Street – all in NE. The weather was perfect and fifty people (plus dogs) turned out, most of them residents of the immediate area.
Topics included: Brick coursing, Colonial Revival and Craftsman styles, Charles Gessford’s small 1-story houses, and architects/builders Harry Kite, Albert E. Landvoight, Albert Beers, Herman R. Howenstein, and B. Stanley Simmons.
The first stop on the tour was the 200 block of Tennessee Avenue NE where Beth stopped to explain the basics of brick coursing. Examples of headers and stretchers, soldier and sailor courses, iron spot brick, Flemish bond and common bond brickwork could all be seen just on this one block. There were also examples of dormers and a “snowflake” window.
A block farther northeast on Tennessee is home to examples of Harry Kite’s work and a suitable venue for an explanation of the economics of porch-front houses.
An alternating cornice design with a raking eyebrow parapet scallop with oval medallion, and a rectangular stepped arch with a 3-pane rectangular window in center were the highlights of homes on the 300 block of 14th Street NE, designed by Albert H. Beers, a well-known architect.
The tour continued on to the 1300 block of C Street NE with the original “small houses”, one story structures by Charles Gessford built as workforce housing, then on to Warren Street with a prime example of rowhouse flats. The last stop was the spectacular row of B. Stanley Simmons houses on the 1300 block of Constitution Avenue NE, just barely within the Capitol Hill Historic District. These feature classic design elements including acanthus leaf detail and ornate brickwork.
Tour attendees received handouts with the names of the architects and builders, the original development cost of the homes on the tour, the years in which they were constructed plus illustrations of brick styles. Of particular interest was a drawing of the front elevation for a Beers house, making it possible to compare the original concept with the appearance of the home today.