Monday, April 12, 2010

Apartment Houses: The Kenesaw

Opened in 1906, the Kenesaw was only the second District apartment building constructed so that each face fronted a street. At the time it was one of the most luxurious residences on a burgeoning 16th Street "mansion row." During the early years it housed members of Congress and even Hall of Fame pitcher Walter "Big Train" Johnson of the Washington Nationals/Senators. In 1913, owners donated part of the property to the city as a park. Eleven years later the park became the home of the Francis Asbury equestrian statue. Asbury was the first Methodist bishop in the U.S.

Through a protracted legal battle beginning in the 1970s the apartment building became tenant owned and remains so today. The Kenesaw has always had first floor retail, with a pharmacy and cafe during the early years. Currently Frugalista, a used clothing store, and Acceso Credit Union occupy the first floor on the Mount Pleasant Street side. 3060 16th Street NW.