Harvey Warwick, Architect [1893-1972]
Harvey Warwick [†], born in 1893, designed two of the most significant apartment building complexes in Washington, D.C.: the Westchester on Cathedral Avenue, N.W. and Colonial Village in Arlington, Virginia, the first large-scale Federal Housing Administration apartment complex. Little is known of Warwick's early life and schooling, but his initial designs influenced the development of the apartment building type in Washington, D.C. Harvey Warwick's first apartment building designs were the prosaic compositions of the seven-building C-A-F-R-I-T-Z Row (1922) on Spring Road, N.W. The unusual massing seen at the Randall Mansions (1923) at 1900 Lamont Street, N.W. reveals a more distinct talent. The Chalfonte (1925) at 1601 Argonne Place, N.W. presents a Mediterranean facade, distinctly influenced by contemporary Los Angeles apartment buildings. His skill with the Gothic Revival, expressed in the 1930s as Gothic Moderne, is seen in the decidedly transitional design for Hilltop Manor (1926, now the Cavalier) at 3500 14th Street, N.W., the Miramar (1929), also on 14th Street, and his triumph, the design for the Westchester (1930) for Gustave Ring and Morris Cafritz.
In 1930, Morris Cafritz joined in partnership with Gustave Ring to conceive the apartment complex to be known as the Westchester on Cathedral Avenue. Retaining architect Warwick to execute their idea, the men intended the Westchester to be a 28-acre project with four, eight-story connecting buildings. Employing the Tudor Revival style, Warwick prepared a design that fully articulated every elevation of the buildings. Only three of the four buildings were completed as the Great Depression reduced developer Gustave Ring's financial ability to complete his plans.
After the Westchester, Warwick's most significant work in the 1930s is often believed to be the Art Moderne design for Cafritz's family namesake Marlyn. However, it was his associate Frances Koenig who actually designed this International Style building in 1938.
Working with Gustave Ring in 1936, Warwick designed Colonial Village in Arlington County, Virginia. This pioneering garden apartment development was the first large-scale Federal Housing Administration apartment development in the country. Warwick produced carefully conceived apartment building designs within park-like settings. Colonial Village was the area's first garden apartment complex designed as a planned community and developed by Ring. The complex featured open landscaped courts and sidewalks, adjacent shopping, and meticulous attention to amenities and the comforts of renters. Warwick teamed with Ring once again in 1939 to design Arlington Village, their second FHA-insured garden apartment complex in Arlington County.
Warwick designed 44 apartment buildings in Washington, D.C. from 1922-1945. He was a close associate throughout his career of Morris Cafritz and fellow Washington developer Gustave Ring. Warwick's apartment building designs include several large garden apartment complexes in northeast and southeast Washington such as the Skyland Apartments and Suburban Gardens. Colonial Village in Arlington is perhaps one of Warwick's best apartment complex designs. Historian James Goode has determined that "because of its excellence in design and construction, Colonial Village became a prototype for dozens of other large garden apartment complexes in other states."
Warwick, who employed a variety of architectural styles, produced designs for buildings ranging from the early interpretations of the Art Deco to the Colonial Revival styles. According to Striner and Wirz: "The Commonwealth Building reveals how his [Warwick's] style, like that of so many Washington architects of this period, developed from the highly ornate and eclectic look of the late 1920s to a style rather neatly poised between Art Deco and the International style by the early 1940s." Clearly, Warwick's prominence as an architect is associated with his designs for apartment buildings.
† Simone Monteleone Moffett, Architectural Historian, EHT Traceries, Inc., Arlington Village Historic District, Arlington County, VA, nomination document, 2002, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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