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Frederick H. Brooke

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Dec 15, 2021

Frederick H. Brooke (October 9, 1876 December 24, 1960) was an American architect from Washington, D.C., who designed houses, schools, churches, and embassies during his 40 year career. A native of Pennsylvania, Brooke studied in the US and France before opening his practice in the nation’s capital. He served overseas during World War I and would later design a memorial in West Potomac Park which honors local soldiers. He was an active member in several professional organizations, most notably the American Institute of Architects. Brooke’s wife, Henrietta, served as president of the Girl Scouts in the 1930s. Among Brooke’s notable works are Dumbarton Oaks, the District of Columbia War Memorial, the Sulgrave Club and the British Ambassador’s residence, which he codesigned with Edwin Lutyens.

American architect
Frederick Hiester Brooke
Born October 9, 1876

Died December 24, 1960(1960-12-24) (aged 84)

Nationality American
Alma mater Yale University
University of Pennsylvania
École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts
Occupation Architect
Spouse(s) Henrietta Bates (née McKee)
Children Frederick H. Brooke Jr.
(stepchildren)
Elliott B. McKee
Francis McKee O’Brien
Buildings British Ambassador’s residence
Dumbarton Oaks
District of Columbia War Memorial
Sulgrave Club

. . . Frederick H. Brooke . . .

Frederick Hiester Brooke was born on October 9, 1876, in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, to Edward and Annie (née Clymer) Brooke. He attended St. Paul’s School before graduating from Yale University in 1899, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon and the Skull and Bones. He traveled abroad for two years before studying architecture from 1901-1902 at the University of Pennsylvania and the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris until 1906. Following his graduation he moved to Washington, D.C. and begin his architectural practice.[1][2][3][4]

After starting his practice, Brooke shared an office with fellow architect Jules Henri de Sibour for seven years.[2] Throughout his 40-year career, Brooke designed houses, schools, churches, and embassies, and worked with noted architects including Nathan C. Wyeth, Horace W. Peaslee and Edwin Lutyens.[5]

Brooke designed buildings in various styles, but is most known for his Georgian Revival works. This includes the expansion of the Duncan Phillips House, home to The Phillips Collection, and the British Ambassador’s residence on Embassy Row, which he co-designed with Edwin Lutyens. Brooke served as the on-site architect since Lutyens was overseas.[6][7] Brooke also designed schools in the Georgian Revival style, including the expansion of the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, and several buildings on the campus of Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, Virginia.[4][8] He assisted in the Colonial Revival design of the Blanche Kelso Bruce Elementary School annex in Washington, D.C.[9]

Dumbarton Oaks

Brooke designed several embassies and ambassadorial residences in addition to the British residence.[3] He designed the Alanson B. Houghton House, which later served as the Iranian ambassadorial residence.[10][11] Other countries who chose Brooke to design or alter their embassies include the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, and the US, which selected Brooke to design the American consulate in Bluefields, Nicaragua.[3]

In addition to designing new houses, Brooke assisted with renovating older homes. After Herbert and Martha Wadsworth sold their home on Dupont Circle to a group of women who began a social club, the women chose Brooke to renovate the building into the Sulgrave Club.[12]Robert Woods Bliss and his wife Mildred hired Brooke to renovate their early 19th century home, Dumbarton Oaks, and return it to the Federal style as well as add a west wing.[13]

Brooke worked with Wyeth and Peaslee on the design and construction of the District of Columbia War Memorial, which honors the 26,000 Washington, D.C. residents that fought in World War I. Brooke, a veteran of the war, spent several years working on the project and his name is inscribed on the memorial, which is sited in West Potomac Park, just south of the National Mall.[1][14] For his work on the memorial, Brooke received the Washington Board of Trade‘s Diplomat of Merit.[2]

. . . Frederick H. Brooke . . .

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. . . Frederick H. Brooke . . .