2417 I STREET NW
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This two-story, two-bay brick rowhouse was built in 1885, one of a group of four houses built by Duvall & Marr to serve as rental property. It has an English basement and a back fenced garden area.
The mid-1950s were a transition period in Foggy Bottom. The 2415-2419 I St. houses, built 1885, provide an example - No. 2415 was occupied by several families totaling more than 25 people. It was heated with a wood-burning stove and had an outdoor toilet. The No. 2417 house had just been gutted and was being renovated. The No. 2419 house, windows and doors missing, was abandoned and condemned.
The house’s original façade was damaged as a result of Metro subway construction down the center of I Street in the early 1970s and has been rebuilt. From time to time, one can feel the vibrations of the metro trains traveling down I Street inside the house. There were significant renovations in 1954, 1990, and 2020.
The house has a distinctive custom decorative black iron railing and fence, installed in the 1950s. A variety of black iron is used in fencing, stairways, and railings throughout the neighborhood.
At the time of construction of the four houses at 2413-2419 I Street, Duvall and Marr also obtain permits to build five brick alley dwellings on Snows Court, directly behind the I Street houses. Duvall owned and rented out the properties from 1885 to 1889, when he sold them to Thompson Alexander, a real estate and insurance agent. The properties were held as a group, until 1908 when 2417 was sold separately.
One of the first residents of the house was Rosetta A. Boston, a teacher, who lived there (according to the 1887 City Directory).
William H. Reed, a porter, lived there in 1903 (City Directory).
In 1923, Ms. Annie Jefferson (occupation not disclosed) resided there.
With the coming of Foggy Bottom redevelopment, the house was purchased by developer Benjamin Burch in 1952 and sold to Rhea Radin the same year. It was a shell of building when she remodeled it and moved in in 1954. The house next door (2415) had several families with 25 people living in it and the house on the other side (2419) was vacant. By the next year, Radin had entered the real estate business and sold additional houses in the historic district.
In 1984, Robert (Coach Bob) and Norene Vogt purchased the house. Their daughter Denise and a roommate, Lisa, rented the house for five years; both walked to work. Later Bob and Norrene sold their house in suburban Maryland and spent the next 30 years of their lives in the house. They were community activists and held positions on the FBA Board. After their death and then significant renovations, their daughter and husband moved into the house in 2000.
I recall seeing the house for sale while walking through the neighborhood with my mother in the early 1980s. We might have parked the car in Foggy Bottom and walked to the Kennedy Center. Once inside the house, the baby blue-colored iron railings on the stairs made us laugh, because we knew they would not remain that color for long. Also, a small – and uninsulated – brick bathroom room had been attached to the rear of the house. I don’t recall that we thought the house was small, because we both were so taken by the house’s charm with its compact features and its location.
- Denise Vogt (owner, 2000-present), May 2022
Foggy Bottom News, Rhea Radin, “From the Bottom Up,”
DC HPO, Historyquest DC
Boyd’s City Directory of Washington D.C., 1887, 1903, 1923
DC Recorder of Deeds, property records
“2415 Eye Street, NW,” Traceries (May 1984)
George Beveridge, "City's Foggy Bottom See Test Ground of Urban Renewal," Evening Star, Oct. 23, 1955
FBA History Project, Foggy Bottom Historic District Walking Tour, "Working-Class Row Houses." https://theclio.com/tour/2098/3