When the National Housing Partnership set about naming the new apartment building it is sponsoring in downtown Washington, it considered 40 suggestions.
President George M. Brady Jr. decided to name the 10-story building at 15th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW after Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect who directed the design and construction of the U.S. Capitol in the early 1800s. Latrobe also worked on the White House, Baltimore's Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin and St. John's Church and Decatur House, both near the White House.
A native of England, Latrobe was credited with introducing the Greek revival style of architecture to the United States. He died of yellow fever in 1820 while directing work on the New Orleans water supply system.
"The more we talked about it the more we liked the name Latrobe," said Brady. "Not because it was my idea but also because the new building is just a few blocks from both the Madison and Jefferson hotels. Latrobe was a friend of both those presidents."
When completed next summer, the $7.5 million Latrobe apartment building will have 176 dwellings. Rents are expected to range from $380 to $625 a month, excluding utilities. Units will be efficiencies, one and two bedrooms. There will be indoor parking and a health club.