Built between 1936 and 1937, the Metropolitan Apartment building is located at 200-210 Rhode Island Avenue, NE in Washington, D.C. The five-story west wing of the building, which was constructed in 1936. The six-story east wing was built in 1936-1937. Using the “Property Sub-Types” described in Apartment Buildings in Washington, D.C. (National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form, 1992), the Metropolitan is a Conventional Mid-Rise Apartment Building.
The U-shaped brick building with a flat, parapeted roof was designed by George T. Santmyers, one of the most prolific architects of apartment buildings in the District of Columbia. Built following a period of transition in which the Art Deco style begins to influence Santmyers’ work, the Metropolitan is the first completely Art Deco-style mid-rise apartment building in his portfolio. The building retains a high degree of integrity. Few of the original exterior features have been altered, and the overall floor plan with its 164 apartments remains largely unchanged since the building’s construction. The original interior finishes in the main lobby, elevator lobbies, hallways, and apartments remain largely intact.
Constructed between 1936 and 1937, the Metropolitan exemplifies the mid-rise apartment buildings that were constructed in Washington, D.C. to relieve the housing shortage that developed as federal employment increased with expansion of New Deal programs. As noted in the MPDF, the conventional mid-rise apartment type “augmented the potential for solving the problems inherent to quickly housing a rapidly expanding population in the District” and “permitted a more efficient use of land in locations already served by public transportation.” Located at 200 Rhode Island Avenue, NE, the Metropolitan stood just two blocks from the streetcar line that ran along North Capitol Street and two blocks from the Mount Ranier line into downtown D.C. As automobile usage increased in the 1930s, Rhode Island Avenue, NE, developed into a major transportation corridor in northeast D.C., and the Metropolitan included garages where residents could park their cars.
DC Inventory: May 22, 2014
National Register: May 12, 2014