Washington, DC is one of the oldest planned cities in the United States, and its architecture reflects its long history. From Federal-style homes to contemporary buildings, the city has a wide variety of home styles. To help buyers understand the different types of homes in Washington, DC, the Prevu Real Estate team has developed a guide to the most common features and trends. The nation's capital is home to a variety of architectural styles, from Federal-style homes to Romanesque Revival-style buildings.
Federal-style homes are some of the oldest in the city. These two-story houses usually have small porches and can have either brick or cedar facades. Inside, they typically have a main hall and staircase connecting to a reading room, kitchen, and study on the first floor, with bedrooms on the second floor. Romanesque Revival-style homes are also popular in Washington, DC.
These houses use stone masonry for their exterior and feature arches and battlements like those found in a castle. Developers often used this style to build larger apartment complexes like the Gladstone and Hawarden buildings in Logan Circle and the Jefferson building in Mount Vernon Triangle. Victorian homes are also common in the city. These narrow, tall houses have colorful asymmetrical facades with detailed scrolls woven into their construction. They were popular from the 1850s to the early 1900s. American bungalows are another popular style in Washington, DC.
These one- or two-story houses have small family porches framed by brick facades, low pediments with wide overhangs, and traditional roof tiles. You can find them in places like Adams Morgan and suburban neighborhoods like Chevy Chase, Takoma Park, Cleveland Park, Del Ray, and Galena Place. Craftsman homes are also popular in The District. These sturdy houses have broad brick facades with unique hanging eaves and exposed ceiling beams. They were popular from the late 19th century until the 1930s when ranch-style homes became more popular. Modernist buildings are also common in Washington, DC.
These glass, steel, and concrete structures often have asymmetrical designs that look like they belong to a science fiction movie. You can find them in modern neighborhoods like The Wharf, Southwest Waterfront, Navy Yard, and parts of downtown. One of the best examples is CityCenterDC building with its glass and steel façade that radiates the afternoon sun. Finally, colonial-style homes are also popular in Washington, DC. This Northeastern staple food entered D, C around the same time as most Federal-style houses in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
This homey style remained popular long after federalism went out of fashion and builders continued to erect colonial-style homes.