Brickyard Hill House

A well preserved detached frame house of early date (ca. 1800) now rare in the Waterfront district. Owned and probably built by the Peter family.

The double wooden house on the top of Brickyard Hill is a Georgetown landmark and probably the oldest house in the waterfront area. It was built on what was known as Peter's Square, at some time prior to Robert Peter's death in 1806. The clapboarded house was constructed as a duplex dwelling and has been used as such ever since. It has been well maintained, and except for some obvious changes, has retained much of its original design. The front doors, which originally opened directly onto South Street, have been closed and the side doors are used instead.

In 1790 he was among the property owners who offered land across Rock Creek from Georgetown to George Washington for the Federal City. Robert Peter, Sr., willed the eastern half of the duplex to his son, Robert Peter, Jr., who in turn bequeathed it to his brother David in 1811. In his will, Robert Peter, Sr., described the property presumed to be this house as "the house and the ground thereto attached being the East House of the two now under rent to Mr. David M. Erskine and which fell to me in a later division of my Father's real estate and was valued at $6,000."

The house was in the Peter family until 1830. From 1832 until 1866, Peter Vonessen owned the "house on South Street, or what was known as Brickyard Hill." The city directory of 1834 listed Vonessan as "grocer and tavern keeper, near Canal Bridge and Congress Streets, east side." For the past 100 years, the house has had many owners, some of whom owned both the east and west halves jointly.

DC designation January 23, 1973
within Georgetown Historic District
HABS DC-158

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3134 South Street Northwest, Washington, District of Columbia, DC