Leon Brown and Thomas W.D. Wright were both accomplished architects when they established their partnership together in 1952. In 1947, while maintaining a solo practice, Brown began teaching at Howard University School of Architecture, becoming the first White professor to do so. As a professor from 1947 to 1972, Brown, first and then later in partnership with Wright, employed many Howard graduates and encouraged other firms to do the same. Brown & Wright architects were strong advocates for the racial integration of architectural firms in the D.C. area.
During their tenure together, the architects took on projects covering a wide spectrum of building types including apartment buildings, low-income housing, embassies, schools, custom and speculative houses. In the 1950s and 1960s, the firm completed more than a dozen custom Modern homes in DC and its suburbs. Many of these survive and can be identified by their wide A-frame roofs with broad eaves and recessed entry porches.
But Brown & Wright also undertook more modest housing in conjunction with speculative developers, such as the dozen or so houses clustered together in North Michigan Park here:
- 1925 Upshur Street NE (1956)
- 1934 Bunker Hill Road NE (1956)
- 1938 Bunker Hill Road NE (1956)
- 4120 20th Street NE (1956)
- 4124 20th Street NE (1956)
- 4206 20th Street NE (1956)
- 4212 20th Street NE (1956)
- 4218 20th Street NE (1956)
- 4209 19th Street NE (1960)