5922 13th Street NW (Valencia Apartments)

This apartment building in D.C.’s Brightwood neighborhood is reflective of residential construction patterns that became popular following World War I.

Designed by local D.C. architect Joseph G. Herbert, the Valencia Apartments are representative of interwar urban development in the 1930s. The conventional, low-rise apartment building stands at three stories in an irregular U-shape. The structure includes Moderne stylistic elements, such as angular concrete ornamentation and an asymmetrical footprint.

Located at the intersection of streetcar lines, bus routes, and important roadways, the Valencia demonstrates the increased need of new urban residents to have access to transportation networks. Following World War I, the expansion of the federal government resulted in an abundance of new jobs in the District. Due to the necessity of multi-family housing in the city, apartment buildings, originally associated with overcrowding and tenement-style conditions, became much more accepted and commonplace in the interwar years.

The Valencia Apartments were constructed as an alternative to single-family housing options for middle-income families. It was built to house 32 families with spacious units, and remains largely the same today.

DC Inventory: July 28, 2016
National Register: January 17, 2017



5922 13th Street NW Washington D.C. 20011