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Waddy Butler Wood

Waddy Butler Wood, Architect [1869-1944]

Ellwood, ca. 1911, 17360 Count Turf Place, Leesburg, VA, National Register

Photo: Ellwood, ca. 1911, 17360 Count Turf Place, Leesburg, VA. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. Photographed by user:Jerrye and Roy Klotz, MD, 2007, (own work) [cc-by-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed January, 2014.

Waddy Butler Wood [†, ‡] is known to be one of Washington's most prolific architects. Wood grew up in Ivy, Virginia, went to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and moved to Washington in 1891. He worked as a draftsman and supplemented this training by reading about architecture at the Library of Congress. Self-educated, his first major commission was for the Capital Traction Company Union Station (1895). Joining with Donn and Deming in 1902, Wood was responsible for conceiving and selling the firm's designs. The firm designed in a style distinct to itself rather than any of its members. Its work was not limited to any one type of structure and it was known to have designed residences, schools, hospitals, churches, apartments, libraries and office buildings.

After amicably dissolving the firm in 1912, Wood turned his attention to large public governmental structures, taking on commissions for private residences only under special circumstances. A few of his designs include inaugural stands for Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt, the city's PEPCO building, the C & P Telephone building, the Brookings Institute, All States Hotel, Southern Railway Building, and completed his career with the design of the Department of the Interior Building for the U.S. government. He donated substantial amounts of design time to the U.S. war effort for overhead costs alone and was responsible for planning buildings for 11 different war agencies.

A juror in several important architectural competitions, as well as Advisory Architect for the Baltimore War Memorial and Federal Reserve Board Competition at Richmond, he was, as well, a member of many civic groups and the subject of numerous articles in national architectural journals. He was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1916 and became a President of the local Washington Chapter of the AlA.

† Tanya Beauchamp, Architectural Historian, Joint District of Columbia/National Capital Planning Commission Historic Preservation Office, Bachelor Apartment House, Washington, D.C., nomination document, 1978, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

‡ Eve Lydia Barsoum, Architectural Historian, D.C. Historic Preservation Division, Armstrong Manual Training School, nomination document, 1996, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

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