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Year Built


Click photo below to see full sized image.


D. Vogt, 2022


Shamberger family information, 1950 US Census


This striking, but unkempt blue brick building (No. 951) was built by Peter McCartney for Jas. Gowens in 1883. It is likely McCartney's tallest remaining building. The brick building is three stories tall, two bays with with a chamfered square projecting bay. It has cast iron stairs leading to the entry door. The is door raised to the first story, recessed, composed of parallel wood French doors. The house has a pediment roof capping the projecting bay and brick arches over the windows. Note also the stained-glass transom window over the front door, and string courses on the first and second level.

"Gowens, a plate printer maker moved into the house with his six children. Just seven years later, he built an even grander building next door at 949 and moved into the new house with his family; renting out the previous home to a white family, government worker Milton Ailes and his wife and two children. Also living in the house was an African American servant, Florence Page, the only live-in domestic help on this square in 1900." (A. Hoagland)

In 1883, the house was built for $3,500. The house sold in 2022 for $1,225,000 and is being "renovated."


1883 - Jason Gowens and family
1890 - Milton Ailes and family, renters
1890 - Florence Page, domestic live-in with the Ailes family
Claude Shamburger, until 2021, former Harlem Globetrotter basketball player
Joel Brewster, 1983


Source Material 

FBA History Project, Foggy Bottom Historic District Walking Tour, "The Tallest Row Houses."
Washington Post article on Claude Shaumburger,
EHT Traceries, historic area building study, 11/1983
US Census, 1950
The Row House in Washington, DC: A History, UVA Press, 2023, Alison Hoagland, p. 167.

A sidewalk view with low brick retaining wall and original decorative metal steps and rails. (D. Vogt, May 2022

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