A landmark red brick mansion in the Dupont Circle area -- once the home of Teddy Roosevelt -- has been saved from destruction.

A few months ago, it looked like the house at 1229 19th St. NW, which has been occupied by the law firm of Arnold and Porter for 30 years, might become a victim to the wrecker's ball.

Instead, a Los Angeles-based law firm will move into the structure. Kadison, Pfaelzer, Woodard, Quinn & Rossi moved to Washington 10 months ago into offices at 1010 Wisconsin Ave. NW. The firm will become the new tenant at 1229 19th St. when Arnold and Porter vacate the premises to consolidate their intown offices at a new location, 1200 New Hampshire Ave. NW.

The house, built in the 1880s, was the home of Theodore Roosevelt when he was the Secretary of Navy. It has long been a Washington landmark and a classic example of "mock-Regency" architecture.

The original owner, Arnold and Porter, sold the building as part of a plan to consolidate offices in five buildings. The property was purchased by 1229 19th St. Associates Inc., a group that considered razing the building while simultaneously searching for a new tenant and applying for protection for the building under the District's Landmark Protection law.

They found a new occupant, Kadison, Pfaelzer, about the same time the building was legally recognized as an architectural landmark. Kadison, Pfaelzer signed a 10-year lease with two five-year options.

"We hope to be here at least 20 years, so the building is safe until then," said Pat Walsh, a lawyer with Kadison.