2 SNOWS COURT NW
Click photo below to see full sized image.
Numbers 1-7 Snows Court are seven original red brick (now painted) row houses, built in 1890. They maintain their historic facades as well as original brick rears. The houses are 13 feet wide and 28 feet deep. They are 2 1/2 stories, with stairs leading up to a first floor door. Segmental arches are present above the door and all windows. A simple brick motif cornice runs the length of all seven buildings. All units have cellar windows on the lower right side of the façade.
They were built by James H. Grant for developer Samuel Norment. (Norment was the same developer responsible for the Fitzgerald (840-844 New Hampshire Ave.) and adjoining row houses.) This grouping of homes helps us visualize how the entire alley must have looked during the late 1800s. In 1905, these very basic dwellings with four to five rooms rented from $6.50 to $9.30 a month. They may have been occupied by at least two families and additional boarders.
Starting in 1952, new residents and developers started buying and renovating the neglected Snows Court row houses, following the example of the nearby Georgetown neighborhood. In 2022, these small, but geographically desirable, homes sell in the $800 - $900k range. " ... The 93 year old dwellings, which had deteriorated into scarcely more than hovels, each occupied by 10 or 12 unfortunate Negros, were stripped back to the bare walls. All interior partitions were removed, and new flooring was laid over the old. Gas, electricity and inside plumbing, which none of the houses had before, were installed," according to an article about Snows Court in the Washington Star in 1953.
In 1947, the large Gas Works tanks a few blocks away were visible to all who passed through Snows Court.
D. Vogt, 2022
1983 - Georgia J. Schneider
FBA History Project, FB Historic District Walking Tour, "Snows Court Row Houses ." https://theclio.com/tour/2098/6
Foggy Bottom Association News, Feb. 1961
Rhea Radin, "From the Bottom Up," Foggy Bottom News, June 1959
George Beveridge, "City's Foggy Bottom See Test Ground of Urban Renewal," Evening Star, Oct. 23, 1955
EHT Traceries, historic area building survey, Nov. 1983
Isabelle Shelton, The Washington Star, Nov. 8, 1953
A rear view of the seven rows in 1947 with the two gas tanks towering above their rooflines. (GWU Gelman collection, Unknown, 1947)
The rear facades of the seven rows with the condo building looming behind them. (D. Vogt, Dec 2022)
A long view of the seven historic rows as seen from 25th St. entry. (D. Vogt, Dec. 2022)