Monday, January 13, 2014

1974 AIA Architecture Tour: Potomac Gardens

In 1974, the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) published its architectural guidebook with "Twenty Walking and Motoring tours of Washington and the Vicinity." Within its Southeast Washington tour, you could start at the Navy Yard and Marine Barracks, go by the Maples (the old Friendship House), St. Mark's Church [as well as other sites], Eastern Market, Philadelphia Row, Potomac Gardens, and finish up at the Congressional Cemetery.

Yes, along with Eastern Market, Philadelphia Row, and the Congressional Cemetery, Potomac Gardens public housing project is worth a visit for the architecturally interested:

The text reads:
Potomac Gardens Apartments
1225 G Street, S.E.,
1967 -- Metcalf and Associates.
There are 352 low-rent apartments in 14 buildings; 144 of the units were designed especially for the elderly. The project includes recreational, administrative and geriatric facilities.
In fact, in 1971, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the regional business association, gave its Award for Excellence in Architecture to the builder, Edward M. Crough, Inc., and the architectural firm, Metcalf and Associates, of Potomac Gardens. The Edward M. Crough Center for Architectural Studies at Catholic University is named after Potomac Gardens' builder.[1]  

Maybe we can return to the 1974 perspective and take a new look at Potomac Gardens as an architectural asset.

P.S. Thanks to our neighbors Sandy and Barry for finding this book and its reference to Potomac Gardens!

[1] I wrote about this on the Potomac Gardens Wikipedia page

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