Wenig Rowhouses 1400, 1402, 1404 First Street, SW
German Roots in Washington

  • Rowhouses designed by Julius Wenig in SW Washington. Built 1907. October 2010. Image Credit: Goethe-Institut Washington/William Gilcher
    Rowhouses designed by Julius Wenig in SW Washington. Built 1907. October 2010.
  • Rowhouses designed by Julius Wenig in SW Washington. Built 1907. October 2010. Image Credit: Goethe-Institut Washington/William Gilcher
    Rowhouses designed by Julius Wenig in SW Washington. Built 1907. October 2010.
This group of three brick rowhouses, constructed in 1907, was designed by the German-born architect Julius Wenig.  

As noted in a study prepared by the University of Maryland Historic Preservation Studio for the DC Preservation League, "This group of three brick buildings was built in 1907 by John Schlorb, a first-generation American who was born in the District of Columbia to German immigrants. ... Schlorb was a butcher who worked at the Center Market. After construction of the houses, valued at $7,000, Schlorb lived in 1400 and rented the other two properties. Ten years later, a relative, William Schlorb, also a butcher, owned 1400 while John Schlorb lived in 1402 and rented 1404 to Abraham Schlain, a Russian immigrant. While modest in size, this group of structures is a coherent expression of a classic urban building type, the rowhouse. The occupation and ethnicity of the owner represents the development pattern of this area in the late 19thcentury, as European immigrants settled in the Southwest portion of the Nation’s Capital and formed a multi-ethnic working class neighborhood. Evidence of this development pattern elsewhere in the Southwest was largely destroyed by the urban renewal program of the mid-20th century. This group of houses is one of Southwest's few remaining examples of this type."

 

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