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Located on Washington DC's elegant and historic 16th Street, just below Merdian Hill Park, a mile north of the White House, and two blocks from the fashionable U and 14th Streets commercial corridors.

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The Brittany was designed by architect Albert Moreland Schneider (1884 – 1924) and was built in 1914. A.M. Schneider was the nephew of the prominent Washington architect, Thomas Franklin Schneider. In 1907, the Washington Post included Albert Moreland Schneider in a review of the 25 most influential architects in Washington.

The building was fully renovated to modern living standards in 1980 and converted to condominiums at that time.


16th Street, NW is one of Washington's most historic and fashionable neighborhoods. Dozens of blocks of restored two to five-story Victorian townhouses on quiet tree-lined streets surround the Brittany from DuPont Circle northward to Adams Morgan to the west and Logan Circle to the east.

Large ornate 19th and early 20th-century mansions were built in the area around Logan Circle and along New Hampshire Ave. from DuPont Circle to 16th Street (north and south of the Brittany) to house foreign embassies, prominent Washington residents, and industrialists from other parts of the United States who occasionally lived in Washington to attend to their political interests. Most of the original buildings are still in place and in use, although not all of them for the purposes for which they originally were built.

The Neighborhood

The Street was the primary north-south conduit in L'Enfant's plan for Washington. By the early 20th Century, L'Enfant's vision had become fully realized as 16th Street, NW, extending from the White House to Maryland, was adorned with embassies and institutions, large churches, hotels, clubs, and elegant apartment buildings and townhouses.

Although the blocks of 16th Street that are nearest the White House and downtown have been renovated several times, most of the structures north of Scott Circle (about 10 blocks south of the Brittany) date from the mid-1800s to the early 20th Century. 16th Street represents a mix of architectural styles, but maintains a distinctly historical feel. Washington's respect for design integrity and historical preservation is still very much in evidence along this grandest of the city's numbered streets.

President George Washington appointed Pierre Charles L'Enfant to create a plan for the new capital of the United States. The site of the Brittany is located at the northern limit of L'Enfant's original (1791) plan for Washington, about 400 feet south of Meridian Hill. Meridian Hill is part of the Atlantic Seaboard Fall Line, which divides the Piedmont from the Tidewater regions of the East Coast.

L'Enfant's planned city blocks in the area where the Brittany now stands were planted with orchards and used for grazing land until the Civil War when Camp Campbell was built at the intersection of 6th and U Streets. In addition to Union soldiers, hundreds of freed men and women from the Confederate States were housed at the military camp. After the war, the new citizens built the first houses, churches and businesses along U Street and the surrounding neighborhoods. Beginning in the 1870s, large Victorian houses were built for wealthy Washingtonians on Logan Circle and the surrounding streets. The neighborhoods between Logan Circle and U Street grew into a socially diverse section of the city.

In the 1920s and 30s, U Street itself was a theatre and entertainment district, nicknamed "Black Broadway" by singer Pearl Bailey. Duke Ellington's boyhood home was located on 13th street between T and S Streets. Famous theaters and private clubs, including Lincoln Theatre (1921), Howard Theatre (1926), Dunbar Republic, and the Bohemian Caverns club served Washington's African-American audiences. The Lincoln Theatre and the Howard Theatre have recently been fully-restored and once again serve, now much more diverse, Washington audiences.

In 2011, U Street NW was designated a Great Street among Great Places in America by the American Planning Association.


The elegance of 16th Street around the Brittany is due largely to the influence of Mary Foote Henderson, one of the most sophisticated grande dames of Washington's Gilded Age. She was also something of a character... She tried – twice – to change the President's official residence from the White House to structures (to be designed and built under her guidance) that would be located across 16th Street from her home, Boundary Castle, on Meridian Hill. In 1913, Mrs. Henderson persuaded a reluctant Congress to officially change "16th Street" to "The Avenue of the Presidents". She then left Washington for a tour of Europe. Congress changed the name back to 16th Street soon after her departure. Mrs. Henderson did not take defeat lying down, and it wasn't long before 16th Street was again hers. She bought large parcels of land along 15th and 16th Streets extending from one block north of Brittany's location up Meridian Hill to Mt. Pleasant. She had about a dozen large and ornate buildings, designed by architect George Oakley Totten, Jr., constructed on those properties which she later sold as embassies.

Although a few of its original 19th-Century and early 20th-Century buildings have been replaced, including, unfortunately, Boundary Castle itself, 16th Street remains very much as Mrs. Henderson left it.

Mrs. Henderson's 16th Street

MERIDIAN HILL PARK covers 12 acres between 15th and 16th Streets, NW east to west, and from W Street, NW two blocks north of the Brittany, to Mt. Pleasant. The Interior Department hired landscape architect George Burnap to design a grand urban park modeled on parks found in European capitals. Burnap's design features a magnificent Italian Renaissance-style terraced fountain cascade with pools in the lower half, and gardens in a French Baroque style in the upper half.

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Meridian Hill Park

Headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A. It was designed by one of America's most celebrated architects, John Russell Pope. Pope was the architect of many of Washington's most emblematic and important buildings, including the Jefferson Memorial, the West Building of the National Gallery of Art, the National Archives building, the National City Christian Church. The House of the Temple is a Neoclassical recreation of the Mausolem at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The building won the Gold Medal of the Architectural League of New York in 1917. A poll of federal government architects ranked The House of the Temple among the ten top buildings in the country. It has been recognized as one of the most beautiful buildings in the United States. The Temple has won important architectural awards since its dedication in 1915.

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House of Temple

THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CIVIL WAR MEMORIAL honors the 209,145 African-American soldiers and sailors who fought for the Union in the United States Civil War. The monument is located at the corner of Vermont Ave., 10th St., and U Street NW. The Spirit of Freedom, a bronze statue by Ed Hamilton of Louisville, Kentucky, was installed in the memorial's courtyard in 1997. The south side of the statue is surrounded by a semi-circular wall inscribed with the names of those who served in the American Civil War.

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African American Civil War Memorium

Perferomers at the Lincoln Theater have included Duke Ellington (who was born in Washington), Pearl Bailey, Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan. The theatre, which opened in 1922, was a cultural center for Washington's African American community for many years. It was a forerunner of the Harlem Renaissance theaters of the 1920s and 30s. The theatre was designed by Reginald Geare, in collaboration with Harry Crandall, a local theater operator. The Lincoln Theatre has been restored to its original splendor and continues to serve as one of the Washington area's important entertainment venues.

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Lincoln Theater

DuPont Circle's center plaza is a popular park and weekend retreat in the middle of the city. The current double-tiered white marble fountain, commissioned by the Du Pont family, replaced a memorial statue of Samuel Francis Du Pont that had stood on the site since 1884. Daniel Chester French and Henry Bacon, the co‑creators of the Lincoln Memorial, designed the fountain, which features carvings of three classical figures symbolizing the sea, the stars, and the wind on the fountain's shaft.

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Dupont Circle

A major circle in central Washington that remains entirely residential. An equestrian statue honoring John A. Logan stands in the center of Logan Circle. The monument was sculpted by Franklin Simmons on a bronze statue base designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt. Hunt was the architect of the base of the Statue of Liberty and the façade and central hall of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. President Ulysses S. Grant lived on Logan Circle after leaving office. Logan Circle was built on the grounds of Camp Barker, a former barracks converted into a refugee camp for newly freed slaves from nearby Virginia and Maryland.

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Logan Circle

THE HOWARD THEATRE, located at 620 T Street, Northwest, Washington, D.C., opened in 1910. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Howard Theatre was known for performances by many great black musical artists of the early and mid-twentieth century, including Duke Ellington (who was born in Washington), Billy Eckstine, Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Sammy Davis, Jr., James Brown, Lena Horne, Lionel Hampton, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick. Restoration began in 2010 and the Howard Theatre reopened on April 9, 2012.

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Howard Theater