Washington and Georgetown Railroad Car House

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Washington and Georgetown Railroad Car House
Blue Castle - Washington, D.C..jpg
Washington and Georgetown Railroad Car House is located in Washington, D.C.
Washington and Georgetown Railroad Car House
Washington and Georgetown Railroad Car House is located in the District of Columbia
Washington and Georgetown Railroad Car House
Washington and Georgetown Railroad Car House is located in the United States
Washington and Georgetown Railroad Car House
Location770 M Street, S.E., Washington, D.C.
Coordinates38°52′44″N 76°59′45″W / 38.87889°N 76.99583°W / 38.87889; -76.99583Coordinates: 38°52′44″N 76°59′45″W / 38.87889°N 76.99583°W / 38.87889; -76.99583
Built1893
Architectural styleRomanesque Revival
NRHP reference #06000516[1]
Added to NRHPNovember 14, 2006

The Washington and Georgetown Railroad Car House, also known as the Navy Yard Car Barn, or Blue Castle, is an historic building, located at 770 M Street, Southeast, Washington, D.C.[2]

Architecture[edit]

The Romanesque Revival building was designed by Walter C. Root in 1891.[3] The most distinctive features are on the southeast facade, including towers that mimic a medieval castle.[2] The building was enlarged in 1909 to fill the western half of the block with a one-story addition that is not as stylistically ornate, but mimics the original design.[2]

History[edit]

The car barn was one of four facilities designed by Root for the Washington and Georgetown Railroad when it was planning an expansion of its cable car service in the 1890s.[2] The Navy Yard was the terminus of a cable car route that ran up 8th Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, continuing to Georgetown.[4] The car barn was used to turn around the cars and ready them for their next trip across the city.[3]

The railway was acquired by the Capital Traction Company in 1895, and after a fire destroyed the main powerhouse in 1897, the cable cars were replaced with electric.[2][5] in the electric car era, the barn was primarily used for storage, and it was expanded for this purpose in 1909.[2][5]

Streetcar service in DC ended in 1962, and several of the retired streetcars were stored in the Navy Yard Car Barn.[6] The tracks leading into the car barn were paved over in 1963, and the building was later sold.[2] It was leased by the United States Department of Labor and used to store records until the mid-1970s, and was then abandoned.[2]

Redevelopment[edit]

The building was painted blue and redeveloped for commercial use in the 1990s.[2] When it was sold to a new developer in 2005, the building housed three DC Public Charter Schools.[7]

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 14, 2006.[2] At the time, it was the last Washington and Georgetown Railroad Company building to survive the cable car era.[3]

In 2014, the National Community Church purchased the property.[3][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Navy Yard Car Barn (Washington & Georgetown Railroad Car House)". DC Historic Sites. Retrieved 3 May 2019. National Register Nomination Form
  3. ^ a b c d Tristani, Nina (September 10, 2018). "The Blue Castle". HillRag.
  4. ^ Finn, Catherine (March 27, 2011). "Looking Back: Washington and Georgetown Railroad Car House". dcist.
  5. ^ a b "Lost Capitol Hill: The Washington and Georgetown Railroad Car House". 19 April 2010.
  6. ^ Bruske, Ed (September 14, 1979). "At the End of the Line, Memories Still Clang". The Washington Post.
  7. ^ Hedgpeth, Dana (December 26, 2005). "Developer Buys 'Blue Castle' in Southeast". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ Neibauer, Michael (Nov 4, 2014). "National Community Church to acquire Blue Castle, expand Barracks Row portfolio". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved 8 November 2014.

External links[edit]