History of 323 A Street, S.E.

29 January 2014

323 A St. SE

Two excerpts from a report prepared by Ruth Ann Overbeck in 1991:

“In the fall of 1878 the two-story single family dwelling known as 323 A Street, S.E. was built as rental property. Its developer was Capitol Hill coal and wood merchant Henderson Fowler. Fowler, who lived near the Navy Yard and the Eleventh Street Bridge, began acquiring real estate before the Civil War; and his development of this site is consistent with his other known projects. From his first real estate investment Fowler pursued a safe course by speculating in empty land near property which was already developed. Then, when he determined that the timing was right, he would build. Every development project that thus far has been identified as Henderson’s has consisted of a single family residence, modest in size and scale in comparison to its neighbors, yet stylistically appropriate. They are all located on Capitol Hill between East Capitol Street and the Anacostia River.”

“Relatives of the Tappan family relate that nine people resided in this house about the turn of the twentieth century. They allocated the rear bedroom to the parents, the bedroom to the north of the bathroom to the bachelor brother of one of the parents, the bedroom north of that to the widowed mother of one of the parents, and the front bedroom (including the small room over the foyer) to the five children.”

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