The National Union Building is a narrow office building built in the Romanesque Revival style in 1890. Designed by famous architect Glenn Brown (1854-1932), the building remains the most important property in Washington associated with his career. The building was the architect’s office between 1890 and 1905, which was Brown’s most prolific period as an author and the height of his career as a professional organizer and city planning activist. During this time, the building was the scene of many meetings significant in the planning history of the capital. Built of Hummelstown brownstone quarried in Pennsylvania, the structure today ranks as the city's most outstanding example of the commercial "Richardsonian" Romanesque Revival executed in brownstone.
The name of the building derives from that of its owner, the National Union Insurance Company. After its time as Brown's office, the building became the home of the National Union Fire Insurance Company, which occupied the first floor until the mid-1940s and rented the upper floors to patent attorneys, real estate agents, jewelers, and watch repairers. Today, it is utilized by a variety of professional firms, architects, nonprofit organizations, and attorneys.
DC Inventory: October 24, 1973
National Register: September 21, 1990