Alban Towers: Sinatra, Lindbergh and Seventy Different Floorplans

by UrbanTurf Staff

UrbanTurf is bringing back its popular apartment building profile series where we take a closer look at rental projects in the DC area. This week, we profile Alban Towers.

Alban Towers

For years, a couple that lived in close proximity to Alban Towers, the historic apartment complex that sits at the corner of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenue NW, would visit the building’s leasing office and inquire if their dream apartment was available to rent. They owned a house around the corner, but fell in love with an apartment at the 229-unit project after attending a party there and decided that they would one day sell their house and move into the apartment when it became available. It took three years of regular visits, but the three-bedroom apartment finally became available, they sold their house and moved in.

Lindbergh gargoyle.

Stories like this are illustrative of the rich history of Alban Towers. The six-story project was originally built as an apartment building in two phases in the late 1920s by the architect/developer team of Robert Scholz and David Baer. (If you take a close look at the details of the Gothic exterior you can see gargoyles that were carved to pay homage to legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh as well as a worker who died during the construction of the building.) In the decades after it was built, Alban Towers served as both an apartment complex and hotel suites, and frequent guests in the late 1950s and early 1960s included Frank Sinatra and Bette Davis as well as a variety of prominent Washington diplomats.

In 1973, Georgetown University bought the buildings and the apartments became home to lucky Hoya undergraduate and graduate students until the 1980s when Georgetown sold the building. For the next 15 years, Alban Towers changed ownership a number of times before Charles E. Smith Residential Realty (now Archstone) purchased the building in 1999, renovated and delivered it as apartments in 2000-2001.

Living room in Alban Towers unit.

Alban Towers offers studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments in 70 different floorplans. A number of the units come with balconies and large windows and while many have new kitchens and bathrooms, the windows and crown molding in the apartments were restored to mimic the building’s original design.

The development has a slew of amenities ranging from a fitness center with a lap pool to a library and business center with Wi-Fi to underground parking for residents, but the rooftop deck is probably the most impressive. The deck has 360-degree views and on July 4th, the deck is such a popular place to watch the fireworks that the building staff is needed to make sure that the occupancy levels remain safe.

Roof Deck

The pricing of the units changes daily based on vacancy levels and other market factors, but currently one-bedroom apartments are starting at around $1,700 a month and two-bedrooms at around $2,900. No studios or three-bedrooms are currently available.

More details and photos below.

Alban Towers Lobby
Bedroom in Unit

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/alban_towers_sinatra_lindbergh_and_seventy_different_floorplans/3149


  1. ben said at 1:01 pm on Tuesday March 15, 2011:

    I lived here for two years before getting married and loved it. Never knew about the history behind it, so thanks for sharing.

  1. LH said at 10:06 am on Monday August 8, 2011:

    Thanks for the information on the Alban Towers ~ my husband and I moved-in July 15, 2011 and we are enjoying living at the Alban Towers. The sunsets are beautiful to watch from the rooftop.

  1. bruce rothstein dds said at 1:09 pm on Saturday August 30, 2014:

    Would anyone know what Georgetown Univ. paid for Alban Towers when they purchased it back in 1973?

  1. Jcp said at 5:56 pm on Wednesday June 17, 2015:

    My father, W.B.Phillips,  owned several businesses in the Georgetown area during the 1930’s including three in the Alban Towers building, a pharmacy, a cocktail lounge and a cleaners and laundry operation. He sold the pharmacy to his brother, Charlie “Doc” Phillips, in the late 1930’s. I had heard stories that Alban Towers was built in anticipation of the large number of people that would be visiting the National Cathederal that was being constructed just across the street on Wisconsin Ave.  Would like to hear if anyone has any stories of that era.i

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