The Robert and Lillie Stone House is a substantial Victorian-era frame house, located upon a slight hill above the rest of American University Park. The house is named for its longest-term owners and occupants, Lillie Mae (Stewart) and Robert Stone, who lived at the house from 1903 until Lillie Stone’s death in the 1960s. Robert Stone was the son of David Stone who, in partnership with John D. Croissant, was the original developer of American University Park.
In 1903, when the property was purchased by Robert and Lillie Stone, the much anticipated streetcar branch line off Wisconsin Avenue and through the neighborhood had still not materialized, and confidence in the subdivision was slipping. As an active partner in his father’s business, Robert Stone may have bought the house to shore up confidence in the development. But shortly thereafter, residential development in the platted subdivision came to a grinding halt, marking Croissant and Stone’s American University Park as a failed 19th-century residential subdivision.
The Stone House provides an excellent illustration of the second major phase in the evolution of the Tenleytown area as it grew from a rural community in the pre-Civil War era to a residential, middle-class suburb of the city. Also, the Stone house reflects the late nineteenth-century speculative development of the formerly rural land into the residential subdivision of American University Park and the importance that new modes of transportation played in the development of the city.
DC Inventory: March 24, 2011