The Beaux Arts Westory Building is representative of the transition of its downtown neighborhood from a residential to a commercial district. For much of the 1800s, the area around the future Westory was a fashionable residential neighborhood. Beginning in the 1860s, commercial buildings began to replace homes as the area became a financial and business center.
Completed in 1907, the Westory’s early tenants included the Thos F. Keane Chop House and Buffet, described as “A Resort for Gentlemen,” and through the 1920s financial firms and small businesses filled its floors. The terra cotta ornamentation of the double height base and the attic level, which is separated from the main brick shaft by a row of roaring lion heads, exemplifies the influence of the McMillan Plan on the business community and beautifully illustrates the City Beautiful Movement as applied to office buildings.
Designed by architect Henry L.A. Jekel and built by nationally known builder George A. Fuller, the Westory is a striking example of an early 20th century steel- frame, multi-story commercial building.
DC Inventory: June 28, 2012.