Upon its completion in 1867, citizens of Washington, D.C. were informed by a reporter for the Evening Star that the house "comprises sixteen fine rooms, with a hall ten feet wide, and partitioned off with walls 14 inches thick. It is three stories high with an additional story to the southeast corner, forming a tower, and built on the Mexican castle style. Capping the building is a handsome French roof. The reporter continued with a description of the construction: the basement and foundations are built of white granite, and the stories above are composed of hollow white brick—the latter both to economize and "to afford ventilation from damp vapor, thus rendering [the occupants] healthy and all times dry."
Sole survivor of four original campus buildings at Howard University, founded in 1866 to admit students without regard to sex or color, but with a special commitment to the education of African-Americans; residence of General Howard, Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau, member of the First Congregational Church of Washington (where establishment of the school was first proposed), and third university president (1869-74); symbolizes dedication to making the advantages of higher education available to all; representative of Howard's history as a center of higher education and its exceptional role in preparing African-American professionals in law, medicine, engineering, teaching, and the ministry, and other fields
Built 1867; 3 stories, Second Empire style of brick on granite foundations, with corner tower
DC designation July 24, 1973
National Register listing February 12, 1974
National Historic Landmark designation May 30, 1974