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

Franklin Terrace Row Houses
The only known photograph shows the "Renaissance-style" Franklin Terrace row in the background, and a later Second Empire row, not designed by Cluss, in the foreground.

Franklin Terrace Row Houses (37)

K Street NW
Constructed in 1869, demolished between 1890-1934

In 1869, Adolf Cluss; designed a six-house row on K Street NW between Fourteenth and Vermont. This K Street property was first developed by people who intended to reside in the new area of Washington then known as "North Washington." The partnership included Hugh McCulloch (Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, and again in the 1880s for President Chester Alan Arthur), Captain Weaver and Admiral Thomas Bailey (both officers in the US Navy) and Henry Semken (a Prussian-born jeweler).

The Washington Star described the Cluss row: Set back 10 feet from the building line on a terrace above the sidewalk, the front was faced with Seneca brown stone that "contrasted so beautifully with the greenish hue" of the Nova Scotia stone that trimmed the windows. There were two stories, each over 12 feet in height, "crowned by a well-proportioned cornice, and … Mansard roof with appropriate embellishments." Double doors from the second-story front room opened on to the balconies above the bay windows that flanked each doorway. Cluss's use of bays in Franklin Terrace to vary the front façades of a row house was probably the first instance of this popular 19th-century Washington treatment. Though the original owners each chose interior details and dimensions, they agreed on the common style for the exterior. Each unit and lot cost between $19,000 and $21,000. The houses were razed between 1890 and 1934.

Cluss's architecture influenced the nearby neighborhood. On K Street, from Thirteenth to Fifteenth streets, he designed two schools, (55) and (66), other single-family residences (39), (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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