A Century of Washington's Distinguished Apartment Houses
By James M. Goode
(Smithsonian Books, Hardcover, 9780874744767, 597pp.)
Publication Date: April 17, 2003
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A century ago, the popularity of early Washington landmarks like Stoneleigh Court and the controversial Cairo (which, at a soaring twelve stories, shocked District officials into enacting the city's height limit) made it clear that apartment living was here to stay. By the 1920s, Beaux Art and Art Deco palaces offered residents all the luxuries of a first-class hotel: barbershops, ballrooms, rooftop terraces, and indoor pools. Soon other innovations in apartment living—the garden complex, the cooperative, and the mixed-use building—put Washington at the forefront of urban planning. Today the resurgence of the historic heart of the nation's capital has created an apartment boom rivaled only by that of the 1920s.
Through residents' personal recollections, original floor plans, and more than 690 photographs, Best Addresses offers an intimate tour behind the facades of 162 remarkable buildings. Some have already been destroyed or disfigured beyond repair, making their preservation here especially valuable, while others continue to set the standard for elegant living in the nation's capital.
James Goode is the winner of Washingtonian magazine's prestigious “Washingtonian of the Year” award. He is the author of Capital Losses: A Cultural History of Washington's Destroyed Buildings, Second Edition and lives in Washington, DC.
“Immensely fascinating . . . it’s hard to put the book down.”—Washington Post
“Goode’s scholarly credentials are impeccable; but what makes you want to wallow in this book is his exuberant enthusiasm, his keen appreciation of not just architecture and history but human nature as well. He knows a good story when he hears one, and he shares it with his readers.”—Washington Times