5 SNOWS COURT NW
With a fireplace, two beds and one bath, this 702 sq, ft. house is typical of its row in Snows Court. Its one of the seven original red brick (now painted) Snows Court 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 and a side entry.
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 ne" w 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 2023, the rowhouse sold for $730,000.00.
1983 - Elizabeth (Liz) A. Wharton
1994 - The Millers, wife Anna
"Liz was the owner of 5 Snows Court and lived there until she died a few years ago. She and Rose McKee who lived at #1 persuaded the Congress to squelch a law getting rid of all the alley dwellings. They are highly respected reporters covering the D.C. area," hand-written note above news article by Elizabeth Wharton, the Mail Tribune, Medford, Oregon, Thursday, Sept. 6, 1979, B7, "Foggy Bottom is quiet, safe --and expensive. (Janet Walker private collection, July 2023)
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 and photo, Nov. 1983
Isabelle Shelton, The Washington Star, Nov. 8, 1953
Crane Collection photo, 1950s
"Foggy Bottom is quiet, safe -- and expensive," by Elizabeth Wharton, The Mail Tribune, Medford, Oregon, Sept. 6, 1979, B-7
Winter 2022 with rear facades of the seven rows and condo building in the distance. (D. Vogt, Dec. 2022)
The seven alley dwellings in 1983 looking northwest. (EHT Traceries, Nov. 1983)
Hopalong Cassidy wallpaper before renovations, (Crane Collection, 1950s)
Hopalong Cassidy wallpaper vintage roll, (Etsy 2023)
1-7 Snows Court houses (before 2015) (Ellie Becker Collection, DC Hist Cent)