The Warder-Totten House is the only structure designed by the firm of Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1866) remaining in DC. Commissioned in 1885 by American businessman Benjamin Warder (1824-1894) at 1509 K Street NW, the building was razed in 1923 to erect an office building. However, the Richardsonian Romanesque style house was reconstructed piece by piece at its present site in 1925 by architect George Oakley Totten Jr. (1866-1939). He converted the building into an apartment house.
Although the massing, heaviness, and the fenestration are very Richardsonian in character, the detailing shows the influence of sixteenth century French and Byzantine motifs. Unlike many Richardsonian structures which are of rough granite, the Warder-Totten house is of smooth sandstone.
Eventually, the building housed the National Lutheran Council and the Antioch College of Law until 1986. The house was left vacant for years and placed on DC Preservation’s League’s “Most Endangered Places” list in 1996. Renovated in 2002, the Warder Mansion is now an apartment complex with thirty-eight single and two-bedroom apartments.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
National Register: April 14, 1972