844 NEW HAMPSHIRE AVENUE NW

Year Built

1886

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House History

The Fitzgerald House is the largest historic house in the Foggy Bottom Historic District (840-844 New Hampshire Ave.). Built in 1886, it was used as a grocery store and residence from the 1890s to the 1950. Its two-story brick construction and architectural details are typical of the neighborhood, but it is built on a more massive scale. There are two front entrances on New Hampshire Avenue and one entrance on I Street. And for as long as anyone remembers, the house has been painted yellow. The house's large landscaped yard features peonies, roses, and hollies.

The Fitzgerald House duplicates the same architectural motifs - a decorated cornice and segmental arches with beaded moldings over the openings - as the adjoining row houses to give the block symmetry. It anchors a 16 unit group of row houses on I St. and New Hampshire Ave. that were built by J.H. Grant for developer Samuel Norment in 1886. The brick is laid in a "stretcher bond" pattern in which the vertical joints are staggered each time by half a brick. The recessed entry door in the middle of two bays on each side the design gives a grander presence than its neighbors.

Ownership History

It is referred to as the Fitzgerald House after the family that occupied it for nearly 60 years. John Fitzgerald took up residence by 1892. In 1895 he married a young Irish immigrant named Katherine Kelleher at St. Stephen's Church. (That church building was replaced by a modern church in 1961, but remains at the same location at 2424 Penn. Ave. NW). The Fitzgeralds operated a grocery store, the M&J Market (named after their children Mary and James) until 1950. The house remained in Fitzgerald family until 1958. Restored in 1960, it was converted into several apartment residences. Steve Timlin, a devotee of Foggy Bottom and its history, lived there from 1986 to 2008.

Recollections

Documents

Source Material 

"Foggy Bottom Friends: Steve Timlin, Keeping up with the Neighborhood," GWU Hatchet, Dec. 1996, at 9.
DC Recorder of Deeds Office