SE Quadrant, Capitol Hill, Architecturally Significant, Federal Government Employees, Jewish, Also of Interest

David Kresh
(1940 – September 26, 2006)

601 North Carolina Avenue SE, Capitol Hill neighborhood, DC.

Kresh was a reference specialist at the Library of Congress, where he worked for 38 years, retiring in 2004. From 1995 until 2006, he was Poet-in-Residence at the Capitol Hill Day School.

Kresh is the author of three books of poems, one of them posthumously published: Turn Off or Use Opener (2007), Bloody Joy: Love Poems (1981), and Sketches After Pete’s Beer (1986).

Year: 1900.
This three-story brick townhouse is typical of Capitol Hill dwellings. What makes it significant is the front-yard sculpture, added in 1971 by then-owner David Kresh. The statue, a bronze by John Cavanaugh, depicts Olive Risley Seward. Seward was the founder of the Literary Society of Washington, a group she created in 1874 with Esmerelda Boyd and Sara Carr Upton that still continues to this day. Seward edited the best-selling collection William H. Seward’s Travels Around the World (1873). She is best known, however, for her late adoption by the former US Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. She was 26 at the time of her legal adoption, but after the death of William Henry Seward’s wife and daughter, Seward became his constant companion, and the adoption was made to curtail gossip and to better define their relationship to the public.

Historic photo courtesy of Library of Congress.