Brodhead-Bell-Morton Residence

The Brodhead-Bell-Morton residence, 1500 Rhode Island Avenue, is a large-scale four story-structure located on a trapezoidal lot surrounded by busy city streets.

The building as it now appears is the work of architect John Russell Pope. Although a few interior alterations have been made during the 47-year period since the house was converted from residential to business use, an effort has been made to preserve the residential character and historic significance of the house.

The building is trapezoidal in shape, with the north facade angled to correspond with the property line, which follows the angle of Rhode Island Avenue. The building is clad in smooth limestone block with neo-classical detailing. Its over-all form is a nearly-symmetrical five-bay by three-bay quadrangle with a projecting one-story service wing on the east end. A shorter wing occupies the second story to the east.

The Brodhead-Bell-Morton mansion is significant both for its architecture and for its role in the history of Washington during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The building is listed on The District of Columbia inventory of historic landmarks. Its inclusion in Volume 2, "Massachusetts Avenue Architecture," published in 1975 by the Federal Commission of Fine Arts, documents its importance as c.n example of the Beaux Arts style, and as a contributor to the character of its Scott Circle and Embassy Row neighborhood. Originally, a fine example of the romantic Victorian period, the mansion was transformed by John Russell Pope in 1912 into its present form. Few traces of the work of the original architect, John Fraser, are still visible.

The Brodhead-Bell-Morton mansion is significant both for its architecture and for its role in the history of Washington during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The building is listed on The District of Columbia inventory of historic landmarks. Its inclusion in Volume 2, "Massachusetts Avenue Architecture," published in 1975 by the Federal Commission of Fine Arts, documents its importance as c.n example of the Beaux Arts style, and as a contributor to the character of its Scott Circle and Embassy Row neighborhood. Originally, a fine example of the romantic Victorian period, the mansion was transformed by John Russell Pope in 1912 into its present form. Few traces of the work of the original architect, John Fraser, are still visible, although the basement still contains mill work that is typical of Fraser's designs.

Pope's redesign is a fine example of the Beaux Arts school of architecture that flourished in Washington briefly around the turn of the century. It remains the only surviving residential example adjacent to Scott Circle. Pope's redesign is a fine example of the Beaux Arts school of architecture that flourished in Washington briefly around the turn of the century. It remains the only surviving residential example adjacent to Scott Circle.

DC Inventory: November 8, 1964,
Revised July 30, 1987
National Register: October 14, 1987

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1500 Rhode Island Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C