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How virtual 1221 was constructed Earlier version of the 1221 model

The red owl logo of The Hawthorne School
The Hawthorne School
Washington, D.C.

Virtual 1221 -- construction resumed!

On the basis of photographs by Grayson Mattingly, Howie Mitchell, and Vince Cottone, plus two published photographs from about 1909, I've gradually been able to add more details to the model of 1221 Massachusetts Avenue.  There are still many things to add, some of the subtle and others really obvious.

Comparing the basic dimensions of the model, as inferred from counting bricks, with various editions of the Sanborn Insurance Maps of Washington D.C. revealed that most of the later "OSH" was added in the 1909 renovation (see The Mysterious History of 1221).  The picture below shows how the southeast side of the building may have looked before the OSH was added (third floor dormers not shown).

reconstructed south facade prior to 1909

The pictures below compare photographs of the building taken between 1958 and 1964 with similar views of the model.
Southeast view from 1960 yearbook
southeast view with yellow brick and brownstone
Photo by Grayson Mattingly from 1960 yearbook

1962 Washington Post photo
Similar to 1962 Washington Post photo

Photograph from Washington Post, February 18, 1962
1963 yearbook cover photograph
Similar to 1963 yearbook cover
1963 Yearbook cover

The reconstruction is based on simple geometric shapes, except for the third floor railings and the slates on the tower which are actually taken from the 1963 yearbook cover photograph; eventually I'll put slate texture on the rest of the roof.  The model was rendered with POV-Ray.  (Read more about how the model was constructed.)

Compared to the earliest version, the model is beginning to look a bit less surreal (too bad, really).  The rendering now takes reflected light into account (radiosity), so I've lightened the grass and the sky to obtain better illumination in the shadows.  Much remains to be done, and right now I'm concentrating on the details of the third floor, with dormers and chimneys next on the list.

If anyone has interior or exterior photographs, measurements, souvenir bricks (for color and dimensions), sketches, or other materials which could help me accurately model the building and determine the floor plan, I would be very grateful to obtain copies, scans, photographs, or measurements.  Also, please let me know if some detail doesn't match your recollection.    -- Dana Sawyer

Copyright © 2004-2006 by Dana Sawyer

This page last updated December 26, 2006

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