The Demonet Building sits on the corner of Connecticut Avenue and M Street, and has been a witness of the social and environmental changes on the Avenue since its construction during the late-19th Century. It is believed that the architect of the building was a man named John Sherman, Jr., who did not work professionally as an architect, but was known to design and sell his own buildings as a successful real estate agent.
When the Demonet Building was completed, Connecticut Avenue was best known for its sophisticated mansions, elegant town houses, and well-off residents. True to that reputation, the building was sold to a dentist named W. Warrington Evans in 1882, and remained his home and office until 1901. It was then, at the turn of the century, that the Avenue’s culture began moving in another direction, as small businesses began purchasing homes and converting them into their places of work.
In 1904, a man named Jules Demonet repurposed the building for his family’s confectionary business, which his parents had established in 1848. The business, originally run by his parents John Charles and Ida on Pennsylvania Avenue, had been popular among many patrons and was even visited by General Ulysses S. Grant and President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. The shop remained successful in its new home on Connecticut Avenue.
As large scale office buildings move onto the Avenue, the Demonet Building remains an eye-catching window into the 19th Century.
DC Inventory: November 23, 1979