At the corner of 20th and Q Streets in Dupont Circle, by the northern entrance to the Red Line stop, stands the house named today for its builder, politician James G. Blaine. It dates to 1881.

I was moved to take the photo in figure 1 by the exquisitely crisp botanical terra cotta reliefs. They seem to have escaped the usual casual damage brought by being in the world so long.

Figure 1. James G. Blaine House, 20th and Q Streets, Washington, D.C. Photo: author.

You can read about the house’s fortunes, such as having been bought by George Westinghouse (yes, that Westinghouse), in The Washington Historical Atlas by the estimable Laura Bergheim (1992). But here I just wanted to share this stunningly beautiful terra cotta work amid the bricks of its east façade.

Published by gsb03632

A college professor living in Scranton, PA

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