801 25TH STREET NW
Click photo below to see full sized image.
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.
D. Vogt, 2022
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 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. 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.
FBA History Project, Foggy Bottom Historic District Walking Tour, "Story Book Row and Foggy Bottom's "Octagon" House." https://theclio.com/tour/2098/12
"Foggy Bottom's Octagon House," Foggy Bottom News, Feb., 1960
Mallon, Thomas, "At large and at small: A House in Foggy Bottom," The American Scholar, Vol. 73, No. 2 (Spring 2004), pp 5-9
Foggy Bottom News, "Foggy Bottom Readies for its first House and Garden Tour June 5," May 1966
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)