Constructed between 1870 and 1871 by Alexander Robey "Boss" Shepherd, Michler Place was named for Lieutenant-Colonel Nathaniel Michler, a Commissioner of Public Buildings and Grounds (1867-71) and, like Shepherd, a friend of President Ulysses S. Grant. Located in West End, Michler Place consisted of a row of thirteen residences constructed as a single unit designed in the Second Empire style with plain brick.
The buildings are vestiges of Washington’s emergence as a modern urban center, exemplifying DC's transformation from a federal city into a true national capital. The architect is unknown, but the builder is Samuel T.G. Morsell, who was a prominent developer at the time and associate of Boss Shepherd.
Today, Michler Place has been reduced from thirteen to seven structures, its street-level facades masked by remodeling and much of its ornamentation stripped and altered. It remains, however, representative of the course that the District followed to overcome the devastation of the Civil War years and truly become the nation's capital.
DC Inventory: January 18, 1979