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Then (left): The Portland Flats, at the corner of 14th and Vermont on the south side of Thomas Circle. The building was designed by architect Adolph Cluss and built in 1879. This was Washington’s first luxury apartment building, and comparable to the Watergate today. When it opened, rents were $150 a month, an unheard of price, considering that a house in Mount Pleasant could be rented for $50 a month. The building was razed in 1962.

Now (right): The aesthetically sterile Residence Inn. This building replaced the Portland Flats and originally was an office building. It has undergone some facade changes since its construction, but generally reads the same.

Kent Boese posts items of historic interest, primarily within the District. He’s worked in libraries since 1994, both federal and law, and currently works on K Street. He’s been an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner serving the northern Columbia Heights and Park View neighborhoods since 2011 (ANC 1A), and served as the Commission’s Chair since 2013. He has a MS in Design from Arizona State University with strong interests in preservation, planning, and zoning. Kent is also the force behind the blog Park View, DC.