Designed by architect Daniel H. Burnham, who also designed Union Station, and constructed from 1910 to 1912, the Southern Building was part of a larger building trend of banks and other financial institutions in downtown DC. One of many buildings designed by notable architects, the Southern Building added to the growing financial center of the city. Many of the buildings that would make up the Financial Historic District emulated the Beaux Arts style popular during the City Beautiful movement of the early 20th century. As the Chairman of the McMillan Commission, Burnham was a proponent of this style and movement.
The Financial Historic District consists of numerous buildings along and near 15th Street NW and McPherson Square that housed financial institutions in the early 20th century. Their architectural styles emulated classical building styles of earlier centuries and within Europe, creating a unified look in the area. These buildings signaled a more “sophisticated” and “cosmopolitan” landscape, and were often at the forefront of new technology and services within office buildings. Like other buildings nearby, the Southern Building exemplified these traits.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
Within Financial Historic District