The Cleveland-Emerson Exchange is an impressive and notable Stripped Classical building with Art Deco detailing located on a prominent corner in DC's Tenleytown neighborhood. The limstone-clad building, constructed as a telephone exchange for the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company, is the product of three separate phases of construction, but appears today as one unified and cohesive building. It occupies the site of the area’s first telephone exchange, a small concrete building completed in 1908.
Along with the firehouse across Warren Street NW, the building represents a period of suburbanization in the former 19th century village of Tenleytown.
The main building fronting Wisconsin Avenue and Warren streets was designed by notable architect Waddy B. Wood (1869-1944) in 1931-32 and built in two phases: 1931-32, during the architect’s lifetime, and circa 1960, well after the architect’s death. Two walls of an earlier buff brick Classical Revival-style building, constructed in 1927, survive at the rear of the main building and are clearly visible from 40th Street.
DC Inventory: November 17, 2016
National Register: September 8, 2017