At the time of the Hill Building’s construction in 1925, commercial real estate development in downtown DC started replacing pre-Victorian and Victorian residential buildings. These former residences, many of which then housed private and governmental business offices, no longer provided adequate space and did not embody the physical characteristics of a twentieth century city.
The Hill Building office building, designed in a “modern” stripped Classical style, was the product of a deliberate effort by the city’s real estate industry to create a more physically elegant city that was commensurate with the nation’s capital. The Hill Building, as well as the Barr Building at 914 Seventeenth Street, were the first office buildings on Farragut Square to follow the trend. Later during the late 1950s and 1960s, many of these 1920s office buildings were demolished. However, the Hill Building survives as an important representation of the transition from residential to business district in the city’s downtown.
DC Inventory: December 18, 2014