Matthew Ruppert House
German Roots in Washington

  • The façade of the Matthew Ruppert House, August 2010. Image credit: Goethe-Institut Washington/William Gilcher
    The façade of the Matthew Ruppert House, August 2010.
Matthew Ruppert emigrated from Herbstein, in the hills of the Vogelsbergkreis in today's Bundesland of Hesse as a child and joined the American military at age twenty-one, just one year before John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, where he was wounded in the attack. After the Civil War, he kept a successful tavern at 1003 Seventh Street NW. In 1904, he commissioned architect Julius Wenig to design this house at 611 K Street NW.  

Ruppert died May 3, 1919, aged 83. The house at 611 K Street NW has been a commercial building for many years and currently houses a hair salon (2010). The Ruppert family continues to be active in Washington life.


Julius Wenig, Architect

Julius Wenig was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1872. He came to the United States when he was 17 years old. After a brief time in Chicago, he came to Washington, where he had a successful career as an architect, designing, building, or remodeling many buildings, including the Mercantile Savings Bank on 10th Street NW, Georgetown’s Kesher Israel Synagogue (1931), a number of row houses and commercial buildings on Capitol Hill and elsewhere, movie theaters, and other buildings. For many years, he served as treasurer of the Washington chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He was a member of St. Mary Mother of God Church and died in 1940 in Washington.

Matthew Ruppert House
Mercantile Savings Bank
Wenig Rowhouses, 1400, 1402, 1404 First Street, SW