Historic Tenleytown - Subdivisions and Neighborhoods

Grant Road Historic District

Listed on DC Inventory in 2002 and National Register in 2003. Grant Road, by today’s standard a country lane, was in the 19th century a main residential road in Tenleytown, the second oldest (preceded by Georgetown) village in Washington, DC. There is no known record of the road being cut, but it is shown on maps as early as 1858 in the Library of Congress Map Division, The road provided access to Fort Reno (formerly Fort Pennsylvania,) one of the ring of Civil War forts. Some of the old paving stones are visible at the curb near Grant Road and Wisconsin Avenue. The 4400 and 4500 blocks of Grant Road survive as a visual reminder of Tenleytown’s early rural character. The homes in the Grant Road Historic District display architecture in the National Folk and Victorian workers’ “cottage” styles. Houses are sited informally with varying setbacks, and this as well as the lack of sidewalks reinforces the country lane ambience..

O’Day’s General Store and Post Office

Though the building date of what was originally O’Day’s General Store and Post Office located at the intersection of Grant Road and Wisconsin Avenue is likely sometime in the 1880’s it is sometimes assigned a date in the following decade. In any case, it is the oldest remaining commercial building in Tenleytown.

The Burrows House

The houses at 4426, 4430 and 4434 Grant Road were, according to local lore, built by Tenleytown resident Thomas Paxton prior to the Civil War. An 1864 US Corps of Engineers map indicates a group of three houses, with the designation “T. Paxton” next to them on the present site of the 4400 block of Grant Road. Stonemason Tyson Burrows is believed to have acquired 4426 in the 1880s and to have added the extensive stonework.

The Parks-Connor House

Both the Burrows House and The Parks-Connor House are in the National Folk vernacular.

The Tenant House

The Tenant House, believed to be the oldest of three houses in this block, is so named as it is thought to have belonged to The Rest, a designated D.C. landmark, one of the largest landholdings and the oldest surviving residence in Tenleytown, Early occupiers of this dwelling would have been tenants of The Rest.

Received DC Preservation Award for Excellence in Stewardship in 2004.

(Listed in DC Inventory of Historic Site, 2001)

The Christian-Curran House

Oral tradition holds that The Christian Curran House, in the pyramidal folk style, was actually built on the grounds of the old naval Observatory in the mid-19th century and a news article of the period reports that it was pulled by a team of horses to its present Tenleytown location in 1890.

The Ada Poore House

The Ada Poore House, named for its long time occupant who was known as “the saint of Tenleytown” for her good works, was constructed in the folk style in 1893/4. The foundation is of local stone and orange cow hair was used to bind the plaster walls.

The Hesterberg House

Circa 1890, this National Folk House has an addition built in the 1941. This was once the home of Ben Gilbert, a city editor of the Washington Post.

The Admiral’s House

There was a house on this site in 1881 so it is possible that a part of that dwelling remains. A large part of the house was constructed in 1890 and it was “squared up” in the 1940s. One of the early, if not original, occupants was John Huhn, who operated a butcher business at Georgetown Market. In 1946 it became the lifelong home of Admiral Raymond P. Hunter who is credited for successful US Naval efforts in the Pacific during the Battle of Guadalcanal.

The Cottage

Built at the beginning of the 20th century, ca. 1908, this is a classic Victorian “workers’ cottage” and housed fifteen people, relatives of the Poore family. There was a similar house next door wich was razed in the 1960’s.

The Voight House

The was the home of F. C. Voight, a gardener, whose family owned a large produce market. The Tenleytown area was known for its produce. Built ca. 1903, the entrance was remodeled in 1981.

The Payne House

Four of the houses in the Grant Road Historic District have connections to the Payne family; the Voight house at 4555, as well as 4561 and 4565 Grant Road, and 3812 Brandywine Street. All were originally owned by Andrew L. Payne. 4561 Grant was built in 1890 by L. E. Gansell in the National Folk Style. In the 1920s, 4561 was home to Benjamin Pyles, a gardener at Friendship, the McLean family estate on Wisconsin Avenue.

4565 Grant Road, NW

Andrew Payne built, in 1897, and lived in 4565. The lot originally went all the way back to Brandywine Street.

3812 Brandywine Street, NW

Another house originally owned by the Payne family, this circa 1890 cross-gabled folk style house faced the corner of Grant Road and Nourse Lane (now used as an alley.) The house was rotated to face Brandywine Street when that street was cut through.

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