Ray House is a two-and-a-half story, side- gabled, five-bay brick house with decorative terra-cotta cornice and a wide frieze punctuated by attic windows. Constructed in 1849, the house is Greek Revival in style, with c. 1868-69 additions to its front and side elevations. The structure is raised from the street level by two sets of brown sandstone steps.
The house, built in 1849 on the corner of F and 20th Streets, N.W., was in keeping with the earlier substantial, freestanding brick homes of the neighborhood. Like these predecessors, it was built for a man of stature, a high-ranking Navy captain named Charles Steedman. During the Civil War years, the structure was used as the Office of the Commissary-General of Prisoners, becoming part of the Union Army headquarters housed in the buildings and houses surrounding the White House. Following the Civil War, it was occupied by a series of socially and politically prominent people. In keeping with its social stature, the building was converted into an elite, private club in 1933. During the late 1960s, George Washington University acquired the property and it has been a part of their campus since.
DC designation: November 8, 1964
National Register listing: September 21, 1990