Walsh Stables

This building represents the final period of the American upper class dependence on personally owned horse-drawn conveyances.

Built for Thomas F. Walsh, "the gold king," the stable was an adjunct to the Walsh Mansion at 2020 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. Walsh (1851- 1910) immigrated to the United States from Ireland and participated in the Colorado gold rush which followed the Civil War. His was a phenomenal "rags to riches" story, precipitated by his discovery of one of the world's largest gold mines. Walsh moved his family to Washington, 1897-1898, acquiring the material trappings of the late 19th century wealthy classes.

Designed in 1902, the stable was ready for use just as the District of Columbia issued its first automobile drivers' licenses in 1903. The building cost an estimated $15,000 to construct. A small one-family dwelling unit was included in the stable's design, a typical employer-servant arrangement of the era.

The stable, which Lemuel Norris designed in 1902-1903, is a building which projects an aura of strength and exuberance. It is an elegant, two-story brick structure with Flemish and English stylistic elements which can be seen in the profile of the elaborate gables that dominate the facade and in the overhanging orange tile roof with its twin cupolas. The expansive flatness of the facade is rhythmically pierced by openings and is relieved by contrasting textures of brick, stone, copper, wood, and glass. The exterior, which has not been appreciably altered, retains such original elements as the stable doors and the second-story hay hook.

DC designation: May 16, 1984
National Register listing: November 6, 1986

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1511 (rear) 22nd Street, NW