Warder Mansion

Warder Mansion (also known as Warder-Totten House) is an apartment complex at 2633 16th Street Northwest, in the Meridian Hill Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C. It is the only surviving building in the city designed by architect Henry Hobson Richardson.[2] In an early example of preservation commitment, the building was saved from demolition in the 1920s by being disassembled and moved 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north of its original site. In the 1990s, the Warder-Totten House's prospects for survival again looked bleak, but the building was saved a second time.

Warder Mansion
Warder-Totten House
Warder Mansion is located in Washington, D.C.
Warder Mansion
Location2633 16th Street Northwest, NW, Washington, District of Columbia
Coordinates38°55′26.4″N 77°2′9.96″W / 38.924000°N 77.0361000°WCoordinates: 38°55′26.4″N 77°2′9.96″W / 38.924000°N 77.0361000°W
rebuilt 1923–25
ArchitectH. H. Richardson
NRHP reference #72001437[1]


Benjamin H. Warder was president of Warder, Bushnell & Glessner Company, a major manufacturer of farm machinery. It was one of five companies merged in 1902 to form International Harvester.[3]

In 1885, Warder hired Boston architect H. H. Richardson to design his house at 1515 K Street NW. Richardson died in 1886, but his firm completed the house in 1888. Warder died in 1894, and his widow occupied the house until 1921.


Warder House entrance c.1900
Front doorway, circa-1900.

In 1923, the Warder House was about to be demolished to erect an office building. Architect George Oakley Totten, Jr. bought the exterior stone (except the front doorway, which reportedly went to the Smithsonian) and much of the interior woodwork. He transported the building, piece by piece (reportedly in a Model T Ford), to its present Meridian Hill site, reassembled it over two years, and converted it into an apartment house. The reconstructed building later housed the National Lutheran Council and the Antioch College of Law.[4]

The building was listed on the D.C. Inventory in 1964, and on the National Register in 1972.

Antioch College moved out in 1986. The building was vacant for more than a dozen years, and was largely reduced to a shell by fires and vandalism.[5] It was placed on the D.C. Preservation League's Most Endangered Places List in 1996, and remained on that list for several years.[6]

Renovated in 2001–02,[7] it now serves as the entrance to Warder Mansion, a complex of 38 one- and two-bedroom apartments carved out of the house and a 9-story addition.


The Warder house once contained custom-made furnishings.

Warder's daughter Alice (1877–1952) married diplomat John Work Garrett (1872–1942) at the house in December 1908, with First Lady Edith Roosevelt in attendance. Ambassador Garrett eventually inherited his family's Baltimore mansion, "Evergreen," and subsequently moved some of the furnishings there. Evergreen eventually became Johns Hopkins University's Evergreen Museum & Library; its Warder pieces include a set of three Thomas Sheraton-inspired chairs and an ornately inlaid center table from the D.C. house's drawing room, and a handsome pair of possibly-architect-designed "throne" chairs carved with sunflowers, an ornate "W," and the year 1887.[8]

One of the Warder dining chairs is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[9]


Warder House 1515 K St NW circa 1900

Warder House, at 1515 K Street NW, circa 1900.

Warder Diningroom WashingtonDC 1885-88

Warder dining room, circa 1900.

Warder-Totten House 2012-09-13 18-06-33

Warder Mansion Apartments in 2012. Note the 9-story rear addition, right.

Armchair MET ADA56

Colonial Revival armchair (1886-88), by Francis H. Bacon for A. H. Davenport and Company, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

See also


  1. ^ "Asset detail: Warden-Totten House". National Park Service: Focus. Retrieved 2015-11-17.
  2. ^ Richardson designed four houses in D.C.: the N. L. Anderson House (1881–83) at 16th & K Streets NW was demolished in 1925; the adjoining houses for Henry Adams and John Hay (1884–86) at 16th & H Streets NW were demolished in 1927 for construction of the Hay-Adams Hotel; and the Warder House.
  3. ^ Warder, Bushnell & Glessner from Glessner House.
  4. ^ W, Andrew (9 June 2011). "New Columbia Heights: The Warder Mansion: the house that was moved brick by brick in a Model T".
  5. ^ "This Old Wreck". www.washingtoncitypaper.com.
  6. ^ "Most Endangered Buildings List 1999 from D.C. Preservation League".
  7. ^ The renovation was done by Sadler & Whitehead Architects and Commonwealth Architects. G. Martin Moeller, Jr., AIA Guide to the Architecture of Washington, D.C. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), pp. 284–85.
  8. ^ "JHU Museums". www.museums.jhu.edu.
  9. ^ "Art Object - The Metropolitan Museum of Art". The Metropolitan Museum of Art, i.e. The Met Museum.

External links

16th Street NW

16th Street Northwest is a prominent north-south thoroughfare in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. Part of the street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Sixteenth Street Historic District.Part of Pierre L'Enfant's design for the city, 16th Street begins just north of the White House across Lafayette Park at H Street and continues due north in a straight line passing K Street, Scott Circle, Meridian Hill Park, Rock Creek Park, and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center before crossing Eastern Avenue into Silver Spring, Maryland, where it ends at Georgia Avenue. From K Street to the District line, 16th Street is part of the National Highway System. The Maryland portion of the street is designated Maryland State Highway 390. The entire street is 6.4 miles (10.3 km) long.The Washington meridian, a prime meridian once in use in the United States, follows the street.

A. H. Davenport and Company

A. H. Davenport and Company was a late 19th-century, early 20th-century American furniture manufacturer, cabinetmaker, and interior decoration firm. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it sold luxury items at its showrooms in Boston and New York City, and produced furniture and interiors for many notable buildings, including The White House. The word "davenport," meaning a boxy sofa or sleeper-sofa, comes from the company.

Asa S. Bushnell (governor)

Asa Smith Bushnell I (September 16, 1834 – January 15, 1904) was a Republican politician from Ohio. He served as the 40th Governor of Ohio. Prior to becoming governor, he served as the president of the Warder, Bushnell and Glessner Company, which became one of four companies that merged to form International Harvester. Other roles in business included serving as president of the Springfield Gas Company and the First National Bank of Springfield.

Benjamin H. Warder

Benjamin Head Warder (15 November 1824 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 13 January 1894 in Cairo, Egypt) was an American manufacturer of agricultural machinery. In 1902, the company he co-founded merged with four others to form International Harvester.

George Oakley Totten Jr.

George Oakley Totten Jr. (December 5, 1866 – February 1, 1939), was one of Washington D.C.’s most prolific and skilled architects in the Gilded Age. His international training and interest in architectural decoration led to a career of continuous experimentation and stylistic eclecticism which is clearly evident in many of his works. The mansions he designed were located primarily on or near Dupont, Sheridan (including Embassy Row), and Kalorama circles and along 16th Street, N.W., near Meridian Hill. Most now serve as embassies, chanceries, or offices for national or international organizations, their important public or semi-public functions, combined with their urbanistically integrated close-in locations, make them particularly visible exemplars of Washington's peculiar mixture of turn-of-the-century political and social life.

Henry Hobson Richardson

Henry Hobson Richardson (September 29, 1838 – April 27, 1886) was a prominent American architect who designed buildings in Albany, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Hartford, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and other cities. The style he popularized is named for him: Richardsonian Romanesque. Along with Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, Richardson is one of "the recognized trinity of American architecture".

Structure relocation

A structure relocation is the process of moving a structure from one location to another. There are two main ways for a structure to be moved: disassembling and then reassembling it at the required destination, or transporting it whole. For the latter, the building is first raised and then may be pushed on temporary rails or dollies if the distance is short. Otherwise, wheels, such as flatbed trucks, are used. These moves can be complicated and require the removal of protruding parts of the building, such as the chimney, as well as obstacles along the journey, such as overhead cables and trees.

Reasons for moving a building range from commercial reasons such as scenery, to preserving an important or historic building. Moves may also be made simply at the whim of the owner, or to separate a building from the plot of land on which it stands.

The Investment Building

The Investment Building is a high-rise office building in Washington, D.C. The building rises 13 floors and 154 feet (47 m) in height. The interior renovation and redesign of the building was by architect César Pelli; Pelli also designed the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. The renovation was completed in 2001. As of July 2008, the structure stands as the 32nd-tallest building in the city, tied in rank with 1310 G Street, 1430 K Street, 1875 K Street, the Westin Washington, D.C. City Center, the Executive Tower, 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue the Capital Hilton and The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center. The building is composed entirely of commercial office space.The Investment Building is partially composed of elements from an older building of the same name that was designed in 1910 by Jules Henri de Sibour, and completed in 1924; the building was partially demolished, but its historic facade was preserved. The modern Investment Building rises two floors higher than its predecessor.The building is principally occupied by Sidley Austin, the sixth largest law firm in the United States; and by the Washington office of UBS. Its ground floor houses The Catholic Information Center, a Catholic bookstore, and a Cosi's coffee house.


Warder may refer to:

Prison officer

Warder Public Library

Warder Public Library is a historically significant building in Springfield, Ohio, United States. A robust example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture, it was a gift to the city from industrialist Benjamin H. Warder, and served as the main branch of the Clark County Public Library from 1890 to 1989. It now houses the Clark County (Warder) Literacy Center.

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