The History of the Northumberland

The Northumberland Apartments is an historic apartment building at 2039 New Hampshire Avenue, NW in the U Street Corridor of Washington, D.C. The Classical Revival building was constructed in 1909-10 by local real estate developer Harry Wardman and architect Albert H. Beers.

The Northumberland operated as luxury apartment home from 1910 to 1920, and was home to many Members of Congress, judges, government officials and civic and financial leaders. The building was at the center of Washington’s social scene at the time, and featured such amenities as a restaurant catering to the building's needs.

In 1920, the Northumberland became a cooperative, and is currently the second oldest cooperative in Washington, DC. It has the distinction of being the oldest, continuously self-managed cooperative apartment building in Washington, DC.

In 1980, the Northumberland Apartments were awarded Class II Historic Landmark status on the National Registry of Historic Places for its contributions cultural heritage and visual beauty of the District of Colombia and the United States. The Northumberland was also awarded the 2009 Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation by the District of Columbia.

The Northumberland Goes Hollywood

The Northumberland is honored to have been featured in three major films over the years. In 1987, the building was used in the Francis Ford Coppola film Gardens of Stone. Later that year, the film Broadcast News also featured the Northumberland as the home of William Hurt’s character. Then in 1994, Harrison Ford arrived to film Clear and Present Danger on the grounds of the Northumberland. In each case, the building was used to show Washington living at its finest.

Changing Times, Stable Management

Over the past 100 years, the Northumberland has seen many changes to the city and the neighborhood, from the Great Depression to the riots in the late 1960s to the recent revival over the past decade. Throughout, the Northumberland has maintained a high standard of preservation and quality. Today, the Northumberland Apartments stands out as a fine example of Washington architecture, and of how living in Washington, DC was and still can be.

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