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How virtual 1221 was constructed

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

Virtual 1221 archive (as of January 23, 2004)

I've been counting the bricks and doing other measurements on old photographs of 1221 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W. to reconstruct the dimensions of the building.  So far, I've only got a partial reconstruction of the facade, not yet including the third floor, but I think the results have a sort of surrealist charm.  "Ceci n'est pas une école," as René Magritte might say.

reconstructed south facade of 1221 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.

Oblique view of 1221 from the southwest
View of 1221 from above
1221 in natural brick and brownstone
1221 detail in brick and brownstone
The small photographs can be clicked for larger versions.  The last two pictures attempt to convey an impression of how 1221 might have looked before it was painted black and white, assuming the original materials were either red brick or yellow brick and brownstone.  A Washington Post article from 1909 ("Epiphany Church Home", Nov 14, page CA6) describes the exterior as yellow brick.  A photograph published with the article shows that the raised band above the foundation was approximately as dark as the lintels, so it was either a different color brick or painted to match the brownstone.  Other than the colors, the building exterior in the 1960s was almost unchanged from 1909, when the rear addition was built.  (Read more about how the model was constructed.)

The next steps will be to complete the exterior walls and then the roof, initially not including the 1909 addition.  My plan is to model the entire exterior first, then attempt to reconstruct the interior.

The model was rendered with POV-Ray.  I've used photographs from the 1960-1964 yearbooks as the basis for the model, as well as some 1962 newspaper photographs and the 1909 photograph already mentioned.  If anyone has interior or exterior photographs, measurements, souvenier bricks (for color and dimensions), or other materials which could help me accurately model the building and determine the floor plan, I would be very grateful to obtain copies, photographs, or measurements.  Also, please let me know if some detail doesn't match your recollection.    -- Dana Sawyer

Copyright © 2004 by Dana Sawyer

Content last updated January 23, 2004
Links updated February 21, 2004

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