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431 & 433 Seventh Street, Northwest (Commercial Building), Washington, District of Columbia, DC



B&W Photos

HB296573
Seventh Street Elevation


Data Pages


Photo Caption Pages


Item Title


Location
Northwest (Commercial Building), Washington, DC

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Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS DC-607
Significance: The building's original facade is hidden from view. As the building stands, it could be termed as a modern commercial style more typical of commercial strips along highways than of urban districts. The overall concept consists of a simple symmetrical composition of planes emphasizing a predominately flat or horizontal design. The treatment of large expanses of the facade as a homogenous surface, and the lack of articulation between these parts does not respond to the pedestrian quality of the downtown district. In relation to its environment, the striking color causes this facade to stand out prominently, this accentuating the building's poorer qualities. Because it presents few architectural characteristics in common with the surroundings, the building fails to integrate with, much less contribute to, the value of the district. Furthermore, the impermanent, inexpensive materials used in the facade disrupt the image of solidity usually associated with the urban cores of large metropolitan areas. The single-story height of the building also tends to diminish its contribution to the predominately higher context of the surrounding area, which is predominately three-stories.

Subjects
Commercial Facilities


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
1. SEVENTH STREET ELEVATION


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