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The Westchester

Original Name: The Westchester
Year Of Construction: 1932
Address: 4000 Cathedral Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20016
Architect(s): Harvey Warwick
Current Status: Cooperative
Original Use: Apartments

Where to begin? This majestic, elegant, grand building was designed by Harvey Warwick in 1930. It is impeccably maintained within (the lobby) and without (a sprawling, exquisitely planted campus filled with fountains). The double gates through which one enters the property (and for its neighbor building 3900 Cathedral) prepare one for the magnificence of this red brick and white sandstone structure. From afar, the limestone trim looks literally like icing on a cake. Up close, the floral and geometric elements in the stone are striking. Automobiles can pull up to the building under a stone carport which opens up to the garden through three archways. These rounded archways are repeated along the first storey facade as double arched floor to ceiling windows. The sunken sprawling lobby has a ballroom-like glamour and is accented with stylized doric-like columns topped with ornamental designs, both floral and geometric in nature. These motifs are repeated in the elevator doors as well. Every design element has been precisely thought out at The Westchester.  The original intent was to build a full u-shaped complex that would have surrounded the center green space on three sides. However, work was stopped because of the Depression and only the buildings on the west side and the first building on the east were completed. The campus was eventually built out with buildings of a decidedly mid-century modern character. The Westchester campus is still quite impressive indeed!