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Year Built


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D. Vogt, 2022


Martina Mulligan, "Architect and Her Home Reflect Foggy Bottom Growth," FB News, Feb. 1981

Melita Rodick, International Archive of Women in Architecture

"Foggy Bottom's Octagon House", Foggy Bottom News, May 1960

Thomas Mallon, "At Large and At Small: A House in Foggy Bottom," American Scholar, Spring 2004


Sometimes called "Foggy Bottom's Octagon House," the distinctive, multi-sided corner house (801 25th St.) features a turret-mansard roof combination – common in D.C. Victorian houses, but relatively rare in Foggy Bottom.

The three story corner house has facades facing both 25th and H Streets. According the EHT Traceries 1 1983 survey: "Built in the French chateauesque style, it exhibits a scale commensurate with its prominent location on the block. It is the cornerstone so to speak - or keystone - and is the grandest among the remaining original buildings."

The corner features and octagonal tower with two extending wings. A dark string course separates the first from the second floors and another band wraps around the tour below the eve. The roof over the main body and the tower are punctured by narrow dormer windows.


Built in 1880, the Budd family lived in this large house with their adult children and some of their spouses in the 1900s. During the 1920s-1940s, the house was occupied by laborers, messengers, a charwoman, a driver, and an undertaker.

In 1960, accomplished architect Melita Rodeck was hired to renovate the house - she liked her renovations so much that she bought it and moved there from nearby Potomac Plaza. Ms. Rodeck lived here for 43 years, moving out only when she became unable to navigate the flights of stairs. When she purchased the house, it was deteriorating and a risk to visitors. She made several changes to the improve the stability of the structure and create a more functional modern living space. The house still had a total of six rooms on three floors. Ms. Rodeck is same architect who designed the row houses on Queen Anne’s Lane and renovated houses in Foggy Bottom and beyond. In June 1966, her house was viewed by many on the first FB Home and Garden Tour.

She sold the house to novelist Thomas Mallon. His works include "Two Moons" (2001), a historic novel story set at the Naval Observatory in 1877. The observatory at that time was located in Foggy Bottom on the hill across 23rd St. from the State Department. He is the author of the novels Bandbox, Henry and Clara, and Dewey Defeats Truman; In Fact, a collection of essays; and the nonfiction books Stolen Words, A Book of One's Own, and Mrs. Paine's Garage. A frequent contributor to The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, and other magazines. His 2007 novel, "Fellow Travelers" was made into an opera in 16 scenes composed by Gregory Spears to a libretto by Greg Pierce, a co-commission by Cincinnati Opera and G. Sterling Zinsmeyer, the opera was developed by Opera Fusion: New Works, a collaboration between Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music which focuses on the creation of new American operas


Source Material 

FBA History Project, Foggy Bottom Historic District Walking Tour, "Story Book Row and Foggy Bottom's "Octagon" House."
"Foggy Bottom's Octagon House," Foggy Bottom News, Feb., 1960
"Foggy Bottom Readies for its first House and Garden Tour June 5," Foggy Bottom News, May 1966
Martina Mulligan, "Architect and Her Home Reflect Foggy Bottom Growth," Foggy Bottom News, Feb. 1981
Mallon, Thomas, "At large and at small: A House in Foggy Bottom," The American Scholar, Vol. 73, No. 2 (Spring 2004), pp 5-9 (Also in Foggy Bottom News, July 2004)
EHT Traceries, historic area house survey, 1983

The view of house entrance on 25th St (D. Vogt, May 2022)

A view of the house bay on H St. (D. Vogt, May 2022)

A view of H St rowhouses. (EHT Traceries, 1983)

A view of 25th and H Sts. (FBNews, 1966)

An H St view of the turret bay of the house. (EHT Traceries, winter 1983)

Rodeck, Melita, 1914-2011, “Rodeck residence in the Foggy Bottom Neighborhood, Washington, D.C., March 22, 1960. Elevations (Ms1992-028),” VT Special Collections and University Archives Online, accessed March 7, 2024,

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