St. James Mutual Homes is the latest multifamily residential community in Southwest to be designated a historic landmark, following Potomac Place Tower, Harbour Square, Tiber Island, and Capitol Park Tower. The community is a series of 16 garden-style multifamily buildings located east of Channel Square apartments on the 200 block of O Street, P Street and along James Creek Parkway, which was constructed by the Washington Sanitary Improvement Company (WSIC) and its off-shoot, the Washington Sanitary Housing Company (WSHC) in 1937 and 1939 as moderate-income housing. The complex was designed by Appleton Clark in the Colonial Revival style.
The application for St. James cited eligibility for historic designation in six categories, including:
- Buildings associated with specific events that have made a contribution to the broad patterns of our history.
- Buildings that illustrate the initial development of the apartment movement as it relates to the need for housing, including the introduction of the building type and the specific form seen.
- Buildings that are parts of clusters, corridors, or districts that illustrate the patterns of development of the city.
- Buildings that reflect economic forces, both external and internal, that altered the development of the city.
- Buildings that reflect trends in the attitude toward the stratification or segregation and integration of religious, racial, economic, or other social groups through the building’s residential character, architectural form, and/or location.
- Buildings that are parts of corridors or zones that illustrate changes in zoning and planning trends and specific regulations.
Of the 107 shareholders at St. James, 100 voted in support of pursuing historic designation. The ANC unanimously supported the historic landmark application at their September meeting and the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) staff report recommended approval. The HPRB reviewed the case on Thursday.