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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • TAKE A KODAK, c. 1930s

Stewart's Castle: 1900

Stewart's Castle: 1900

Washington circa 1900. "Stewart's Castle, Dupont Circle." The William Morris Stewart house on Massachusetts Avenue, designed by Adolph Cluss, shortly before it was demolished. National Photo glass negative. View full size.

 

Where's Herman?

I keep thinking if I look at the photo long enough, I'll see Herman, Lily, Eddie, Grandpa or another member of the Munster family show up at one of the windows. If I'm really lucky, Gomez and Morticia Addams might be there for a visit as well.

Builded with Brick

Builded With Brick

Castle Stewart Being Restored
to More Than Original Splendor

Castle Stewart, built by the former Senator of that name from Nevada, on Dupont circle, when that now fine neighborhood was in its infancy, and burned some three years since, is being remodeled. The exterior will resume the imposing appearance possessed before the flames destroyed the upper story altogether, and ruined the plaster and woodwork of the interior. Mr. Robert I Fleming, the architect and builder, has the work in hand, and will make the restored mansion much handsomer that it ever was, and, what is more important, not liable to burn on such slight provocation, at least. The work, which is estimated to cost $25,000, is being done by Mrs. Stewart. In addition to the restoration, three dressing rooms, to be used in connection with the stage when private theatricals are to be given, are being erected; also a conservatory and a balcony on the Connecticut avenue front.

Washington Post, Jan 18, 1883

Stewart's Castle

Stewart’s Castle at 1913 Massachusetts Avenue was built in 1873 for California [actually Nevada] Senator William Morris Stewart, who made his fortune in gold mining. Despite architect Adolph Cluss's intentions to imitate the wealth and glamour of European nobility, the castle proved to be too much of a financial burden and was leased to the Chinese government from 1886 to 1893. The house was sold to Senator William A. Clark from Montana, who demolished it with the intention of building a new residence; however, the land remained vacant until he sold it in 1921, and a bank was subsequently erected on the site.

                -- Washington Places (University of Virginia)

Burned

According to the New York Times of December 31, 1879, the house burned down.

[The NYT article seems a bit confused. Iowa Circle (now called Logan Circle) was six blocks east of the Stewart house, which was on Dupont Circle at Massachusetts and Connecticut avenues. The residence, built in 1873, did indeed catch fire on the evening of December 30, 1879, but only the top floor was destroyed. - Dave]

Say it ain't so!

Why was this beautiful creation destroyed so soon? It is one of the finer examples of architecture you'll ever see. Does anyone know the story?

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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