As the two oldest documented houses in Foggy Bottom, the Sweeney-Plowman Houses highlight the changing urban landscape within DC. Located at 2521 and 2523 K Street NW, the vernacular-style houses were built in 1843 and 1868, respectively. The houses, while nestled between the other homes on the street, show how the city developed throughout the mid-19th century, changes in architectural design, and Foggy Bottom’s shifting identity.
The house at 2521 K Street’s floor-plan is similar to those found in South Carolina, and was not as common in DC at the time. Its earlier construction also lacked the architectural ornamentation that 2523 K Street featured in its construction. The exterior design elements on 2523 K Street showed a developing ornamentation style meant to elevate the home’s appearance.
In addition to the buildings’ styles, the homes reflect the shifting demographics of Foggy Bottom. While many residents have lived in the homes throughout the years, property records show who occupied the spaces and their demographic information while they lived there. The houses illustrate the changing identity of the neighborhood and its residents, which continues to evolve as time goes on.
DC Inventory: October 24, 1984