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DC’s Tabard Inn Seeks Landmark Status

by Nena Perry-Brown

Photo of the Tabard Inn, courtesy of landmark application. Click to enlarge.

The owner of the Tabard Inn is seeking historic landmark status for the property.

Located at 1737-1741 N Street NW (map), the buildings at the three addresses which comprise the 35-room inn were constructed from 1887 to 1900, each designed by a different architect. 

Marie Willoughby Rogers bought the rowhouse at 1739 N Street NW in 1922, and by all indications, the Tabard Inn began formal operations in 1924. Rogers bought the building at 1741 in 1928, followed by the 1737 building in 1936. The application explains the significance of these houses being combined and operated commercially:

"In the early twentieth century, the property was located within an area of Dupont Circle that was known as "the Mayfair of Washington." N Street at the time was still home to some of Washington’s most prominent residents. By establishing the Tabard Inn on this important residential street Mrs. Rogers gave the Tabard Inn the prestige needed to attract patronage; however, its presence also served as a bellwether of a change in Dupont Circle’s character from a residential neighborhood to one dominated by institutional and commercial uses."

Current owner Fritzi Cohen purchased the Inn with her husband in 1974, making the hotel one of the oldest in the city to be owned and operated by a woman since its inception. The hotel's restaurant reopened in 1977 under the guidance of Margee Wright and Nora Pouillon; Pouillon owned a catering company in DC prior to the Cohen's hiring, and in 1979, she went on to open Restaurant Nora, which gained her worldwide recognition as a pioneer in organic and locally-sourced cuisine.

The Historic Preservation Review Board is expected to consider the application next month.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/an-application-for-historic-designation-of-the-tabard-inn/16318

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