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Large Rammed Earth Structure in Washington, DC

This is  a photo of 1300 Rhode Island Avenue, NE, Hilltop House, a large rammed earth structure in Washington, DC. Unfortunately it was razed around 1956 to make way for subsidized housing. It was built before the Stone House in Georgetown which is now the oldest house extant in the DC area. It served as the interim White House for Monroe after the  British burned the official residence. An attempt was apparently made to bring the building down with a wrecking ball after WWI but the ball just bounced off the walls. Seeing this, the owners let the house stand, renovated it and it served as the embassy for a couple of countries until the public housing mania prevailed. 

The photo is from A Quantitative Comparison of Rammed Earth and Sun-cured Adobe Buildings by Richard Hudson Clough and published by UNM Press. It was his 1950 master’s thesis. Clough went on to become the Dean of Engineering at UNM. He wrote the definitive texts on construction contracting used nationally.

Thanks to Quentin Wilson for submitting this!

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