Gallaudet University, President’s House

This is a large, red brick high Victorian Gothic
Revival house located on a knoll at the southwest corner of the campus.

The house, erected in 1867-68 and designed by F.C. Withers, is approximately sixty feet north of Florida Avenue. It is surrounded by informally landscaped open space. A circular drive separates it from a row of three High Victorian Gothic Revival Professors' Houses at the north. A large green separates it from academic and administrative buildings at the northeast. The house is oriented so that its main facade faces north toward the faculty houses. Most of the buildings on the campus visible from the President's House were designed by F.C. Withers and were built between 1867 and 1885.

The house is very suburban or rural in character and it is important to remember that in the 1860's the school had a suburban location. The building's design is in the mid -nineteenth century Downing tradition of a dwelling with informal landscaping, picturesque features, and an open plan. There are also features characteristic of post -Civil War architecture such as the "constructional coloration" and the greater plasticity (particularly present in the entrance portal).

The building has a number of parts and numerous accents from dormers, gables, chimneys, and projections. However, there is a unity from the general compactness of the outline and the careful organization of openings. This unity is enhanced by the use of similar decorative motifs. The house has a 2-1/2-story, brick main block approximately 53 '8" by 48". This block has a broadly overhanging, steep mansard roof broken over each bay by a dormer, gable, or hipped gable. The main block has three bays on its north-south facades and two on its east facade. Centrally located on the north side is a projecting 2-1/2-story brick entrance bay, 14 '5 n by 10 ' .

Extending the full length of the east side is a one-story frame veranda, A semi-elliptical, one-story bay projects from the southwest bay of the south facade. At the west is a two-story brick service wing, 30'9" by 26 T . This wing has a steep mansard roof broken by gables over 2nd story windows. Attached to the service wing at the west is an enclosed, one-story, frame porch, one bay wide. A frame, 1-1/2-story stair wing with shed roof occupies the northwest corner between the main block and the service wing.

Built 1867 (Vaux & Withers, architects)
DC listing November 8, 1964
National Register listing February 15, 1974



7th Street & Florida Avenue, NE