Ralph Bunche House

The Ralph Bunche House is a free standing, rectangular-plan brick house located on Jackson Street in the largely residential Brookland section of Washington.

The south-facing residence sits approximately forty feet from the street on a gently sloping lot. The overall form of the house is simple and orderly and distinguished by its shallow-pitched hipped roof with broad eaves. The exterior, which is of medium-toned red brick laid in American bond is defined by its unusual fenestration. The two-story residence stands in contrast with the more traditional free standing houses which typify the surrounding neighborhood.

The subject property was the residence of Dr. Ralph Bunche, the distinguished African-American diplomat and scholar from 1941 to 1947. The home was designed for him by Hilyard R. Robinson, a noted Washington architect, in the International Style. Located in the Brookland neighborhood, the residence is significant for its association with Ralph Bunche, as an important work by Hilyard Robinson, and as a rare example of an International Style house in Washington, DC.

The Bunche house, with its International Styling, stands in contrast with the eclectic architecture of the surrounding neighborhood, which includes bungalows and Colonial Revivals. Unusual window arrangements, hipped roof, and a side entrance distinguish the house from its neighbors. The exterior treatment of the freestanding residence is well-developed on all facades.

DC Inventory: April 29, 1975
National Register Nomination: September 30, 1993



1510 Jackson Street, N.E., Washington, D.C