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John Smith Residence (51)

1721 Lanier Avenue between Ontario Avenue and Quarry Road, NW
(a suburban development known as Lanier Heights)
Constructed in 1886, demolished

John Smith was an entomologist and an assistant curator at the Smithsonian Institution. Later he had a distinguished career as New Jersey State Entomologist and Professor at Rutgers University. Lanier Heights was one of several suburban developments that appeared in the 1880s on the ridge north of the original city of Washington. Planned by Smithsonian biologist George Brown Goode and banker A.M. McLachlen, Lanier Height's idyllic setting overlooked a meandering stretch of Rock Creek.

The development grew slowly. In 1883, there were only five houses; all the owners except McLachlen worked at the Smithsonian. By 1893, there were 10 houses, including Smith's, the only frame house that Cluss is known to have designed and the only house outside the original city that Cluss designed. By 1903, Smith's house had expanded with two frame additions, but brick row-houses on both sides began to create a more typical urban setting. Soon after, a multi-unit brick row replaced the Smith house.




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