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Fanny Washburn Payson Residence (39)

1439 K Street, NW
Constructed in 1873-74, demolished 1920s

Fanny Washburn Payson was the daughter of Cadwallader C. Washburn, Governor of Wisconsin. In 1873 Washburn contracted with Cluss to build this house on K Street as a wedding present for his daughter. He wrote to Cluss, "I entrust this whole matter to you in full confidence..." Washburn may have known Cluss when Washburn served in Congress from 1855 to 1861 and from 1867 to 1871. In his last term, he chaired the Committee on Expenditures on Public Buildings that oversaw spending for the Agriculture Department building that Cluss and Kammerhueber designed. Fanny Washburn married Charles Payson, a State Department official, businessman, and real estate investor. He served as the United States Chargé d'Affaires to Denmark in the 1880s.

By 1902, the Payson's had moved and the house became the first headquarters of the Carnegie Institution.

Cluss's architecture influenced the nearby neighborhood. On K Street, from Thirteenth to Fifteenth streets, he designed two schools, (55) and (66), a five unit row house, (37), other single family residences, (43) and (103), and one duplex (78). Within a block of K Street, he also designed a church (5) on Thirteenth Street, a duplex on Fourteenth Street (102) and a house (80) and a hotel (18) on Fifteenth Street.




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