Alvin Lothrop Mansion at 2001 Connecticut Avenue, NW

The Lothrop Mansion at 2001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W, now the offices for the Russian Trade Representative.  Photo: AgnosticPreachersKid

The first house that stood at 2001 Connecticut Avenue on the southernmost point of Kalorama Triangle, was the home of Dr. William Tindall.  Following service in the Union army during the Civil War, Tindall moved to Washington, D.C., to study medicine at Georgetown University.  He then served sixty-three years with the District of Columbia government and was a longtime secretary to the District commissioners. 

Dr. William Tindall.  Library of Congress.

The Tindall house once stood on the current site of the Trade Representative of the Russian Federation.  It was razed in 1907.  Library of Congress.

In 1907, the Tindall house was razed to make way for the construction of a mansion for Alvin Mason Lothrop.  Lothrop, along with Samuel Woodward and Charles Cochrane, was one of the original partners of what later became the well-known department store Woodward & Lothrop, popularly known as “Woodies.”  The business originally started out as a dry goods store at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and 7th St., NW and later relocated to 11th and F St., N.W. After a buyout of Cochrane’s share of the business, it became Woodward and Lothrop Department Store.

Alvin Lothrop.  Author's collection.

Construction of Woodward & Lothrop’s flagship store in 1927 on the corner of 10th and F Streets, NW.  Rich’s shoe store building still stands as well and is now Madame Tussaud’s.  Library of Congress.

Alvin Lothrop contracted the architectural firm of Hornblower & Marshall to build a grand Beaux Arts-style mansion at 2001 Connecticut Avenue on the site of the former Tindall house in 1909. 

While planning their new home, the Lothrops experienced the tragic death of their daughter Caroline in October 1908.  The following year, Mrs. Lothrop was stricken with an incurable form of arthritis and also died.  That same year, Lothrop, now a widower, moved into the new mansion with his colleague daughter, Harriet, but the house served as Alvin Lothrop’s home for only a short time. 

Lothrop mansion, circa 1915.  2029 Connecticut Avenue can be seen under construction.  Library of Congress

After the death of his wife, Lothrop divided much of his time between his childhood home of South Acton, Massachusetts, and his summer home in the Adirondack Mountains.  Lothrop died within three years of taking up residence in the house.  He had been suffering from Bright’s disease, but his unexpected death in 1912 was attributed to a stroke.

Lothrop’s daughter, Harriet, married Nathaniel Horace Luttrell, who after Lothrop’s death, became the director of Woodward & Lothrop.  The couple was living at their home at 2132 Bancroft Place NW when Harriet died suddenly on February 15, 1919.  While the cause of her death was unlisted, she was probably one of Washington’s thousands of victims to be stricken by the Spanish flu epidemic that ravaged the world for two years.  After her death, Nathan Luttrell and the children moved back into the Lothrop mansion. 

Harriet Lothrop Luttrell.  Author's collection.

In 1942, at the age of 51 Nathaniel Luttrell was found dead by his valet on the floor of his bedroom at 2001 Connecticut Avenue.  One of Luttrell’s two sons, Nathaniel Jr., took over the directorship of Woodward & Lothrop immediately upon his father’s death, and that same year he sold the house to the Soviet government to be used as the chancellery of the embassy.  It is now the office of the Trade Representative of the Russian Federation. 

Architects James Rush Marshall and Joseph Coerten Hornblower worked together for over thirty years. Their work included the National Museum Building, the Army and Navy Club, the United States Custom House in Baltimore and private residences, including the Fraser mansion at 1701 20th Street NW.

After Joseph Hornblower’s death in 1908, Marshall was unable to compete with prominent local architect Jules Henri de Sibour, who was snatching up the commissions for most of the large Beaux-Arts residential in the area.  Their only other work in Kalorama Triangle was a pair of relatively modest Craftsman-style town houses at 2504–06 Cliffbourne Place, which they had designed in 1899.