The family man | German-American Community | Career | City History | Cluss-Buildings | Cluss in the context of the city

U.S. Fish Commission, ca. 1890
U.S. Fish Commission, ca. 1890

U.S. Fish Commission (14)

1443 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Constructed in 1881, demolished 1950s

James Ormond Wilson, who lived on the 1400 block of Massachusetts Avenue, commissioned Cluss and Schulze to build on his land this structure for the use of the U.S. Fish Commission. Spencer F. Baird, head of the Commission, lived in the house next to the new building and his assistant Thomas Ferguson lived in the same block of Massachusetts Avenue. Baird also headed the Smithsonian Institution from 1878 to 1887 during the years that Cluss and Schulze designed the National Museum. Baird often worked mornings at the Fish Commission and in afternoons moved on to his Smithsonian office.

In the same block of Massachusetts Avenue, Cluss also designed a house for Baird's sister, Mary Biddle, and maybe also for Richard Morsell and James Ormond Wilson himself. Wilson was the District of Columbia Superinterdent of Public Schools from 1870 to 1885 when Cluss designed several Washington schools.

This one block of houses on Massachusetts Avenue clearly reveals Adolf Cluss's prominent clients and social contacts.




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