Built between 1936 and 1937, the Metropolitan Apartment Building was designed by George T. Santmyers, one of the most prolific architects of apartment buildings in the District of Columbia. Built following a period of transition in which the Art Deco style begins to influence Santmyers’ work, the Metropolitan is the first completely Art Deco-style mid-rise apartment building in his portfolio. The original interior finishes in the main lobby, elevator lobbies, hallways, and apartments remain largely intact.
The Metropolitan exemplifies the mid-rise apartment buildings that were constructed in DC to relieve the housing shortage that developed as federal employment increased with expansion of New Deal programs. The conventional mid-rise apartment type was an important measure in solving the problems that came along with the rapidly expanding population of the District, allowing for land to be used more efficiently in areas that were already being served by available public transportation rather than driving development further out into the sprawl.
Located at 200 Rhode Island Avenue, NE, the Metropolitan stood just two blocks from the streetcar line that ran along North Capitol Street and two blocks from the Mount Ranier line into downtown DC. As automobile usage increased in the 1930s, Rhode Island Avenue developed into a major transportation corridor in northeast DC, and the Metropolitan included garages where residents could park their cars.
DC Inventory: May 22, 2014
National Register: May 12, 2014