NW Quadrant, East of Rock Creek, Dupont Circle, Architecturally Significant, Female, Genre, Society Hostesses

Frances Parkinson Keyes
(July 21, 1885 – July 3, 1970)

Envoy Apartments, 2400 16th St. NW, Columbia Heights neighborhood, DC.

A prolific novelist, Keyes was popular in her time, although her writing is dated and sentimental now. She also wrote three nonfiction books about her experiences living in Washington, and one book of poems, The Happy Wanderer (1935).

Keyes's novels include The Old Gray Homestead (1919), Queen Anne's Lace (1930), Senator Marlowe's Daughter (1933), Honor Bright (1936), Parts Unknown (1938), All That Glitters (1941), Crescent Carnival (1942), Came a Cavalier (1947), Joy Street (1950), Steamboat Gothic (1952), and The Chess Players (1960). She also published several inspirational books on Christmas, biographies of Catholic saints, a cookbook, a how-to book for aspiring writers, and a travelogue. Her memoirs are Letters from a Senator's Wife (1924), Capital Kaleidoscope: The Story of a Washington Hostess (1937), Roses in December (1960), and All Flags Flying (1972).

Keyes lived here with her husband, Henry Wilder Keyes, Senator from New Hampshire, from the 1920s into the 1940s.


Also earlier home of Annulet Andrews.

Architect: A.H. Sonnemann. Year: 1918
Originally built as a luxury hotel, the Envoy has marble columns and floors in the main lobby, gilded plaster ceiling moldings, and the original hanging chandeliers. Earlier names for the building were Meridian Mansions and Hotel 2400. Listed as a National Historic Landmark in 2010.


Anchorage Building, 1900 Q St. NW, Dupont Circle neighborhood, DC.

Anchorage Architect: Jules H. de Sibour. Year: 1924
Four apartment buildings with nautical themes once dominated this Dupont Circle intersection. The Anchorage at 1900 Q and the Moorings at 1901 Q still survive; the Galleon and the Caravel have been razed. The Anchorage had 16 units, with working fireplaces in every apartment. The six-foot anchor on the façade can still be seen. The apartments were built by Marie Hewitt Williams, a wealthy widow. A 1925 advertisement claimed the buildings were “reminiscent of the sea, but…provide…pleasant havens for the transient or permanent dweller, the seafarer or the landsman.” The building was popular with Congressmen; Sam Rayburn was a long-time resident.