Manhattan Laundry

The Manhattan Laundry at 1326-1346 Florida Avenue, N.W. is comprised of three buildings connected by two enclosed bridges at the second floor level.

The two main buildings face north on Florida Avenue. The third structure faces the alley behind 1326 Florida Avenue. The significant architectural character of this group of buildings is defined by the front facades of the two major buildings. Additions, alterations and damage have affected the integrity of the secondary facades, lessening their limited original significance. The alley building is something of an architectural curiosity and it contributes little to the architectural quality of the group. The buildings present the vernacular industrial style, but the principle facade of the main building is in the Art Deco style.

The buildings which comprise the Manhattan Laundry were constructed over several decades. The earliest buildings were erected between 1877 and 1880. These parts of the Manhattan Laundry are typical of vernacular industrial structures built during the late-nineteenth century and are important to Washington for their display of industrial building practices of that time in a city where industrial buildings are historically small in number. The brick load-bearing walls laid in common bond and segmental arch windows with double-hung sashes are characteristic of the utilitarian structures built to serve a number of functions. The Manhattan Laundry building at 1346 Florida Avenue, N.W. originally served as a traction facility for the Washington and Georgetown Railroad Company. The building was constructed of brick, approximately 65 feet by 125 feet, with a gable roof covered with tin and a hoist way protected by an iron railing. John B. Brady, an architect who worked extensively for local street railway companies, designed a two-story car barn for the site in 1877. Little is known about John B. Brady, aside from his extensive work for the local street rail companies. His office was in several locations in the southwest section of the city from the mid-1870s to the 1890s. Brady designed a number of commercial structures, including the distinguished Metropolitan Railroad Company car barn, which stood at P and 4th Streets, SW from 1892 to 1962. It was designed in the Romanesque Revival style and had a tower. Brady was not a member of any of the local architects' and builders' associations.

West Building (Washington & Georgetown Railroad Company Car Barn): Built 1877, John B. Brady, architect), steam plant (built 1908, altered c. 1914 and 1923), and addition (built 1926, A.S.J. Atkinson, architect)
South Building: Stable and warehouse (built 1911)
East Building: Includes rug cleaning plant and garage/dry cleaning facility (built 1936, Alexander M. Pringle, architect); and Administrative Offices (built 1936‑37, Bedford Brown, architect; among the city's finest Art Deco designs; extensive use of glass block, enameled metal panels, and other innovative materials in classically-inspired facade)

DC designation June 19, 1991
National Register listing November 21, 1994

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1326‑46 Florida Avenue, NW