The Presidential is located at the southwest corner of 16th and L Streets, N.W., four blocks due north of the White House. The eight-story building was completed in 1923, and was converted to cooperative use in 1959, with 42 residences on floors two through eight, plus commercial units on the first floor. Today, several of the original residences have been combined into larger apartments, and three of the four first floor units are still in commercial use.
Built by Mrs. Clara R. Dennis for $350,000, the structure was designed by architect Appleton P. Clark, Jr. (1865-1955), whose projects in Washington included The Roosevelt Hotel at 2101 16th Street (now the Camden Roosevelt Apartments) and Riggs National Bank on Pennsylvania Avenue, opposite the Treasury Department. Mrs. Dennis named the building “The Presidential” because she felt it was ideally situated to house members of President Warren G. Harding’s cabinet, who could live in large apartments created by combining several small ones on each floor.
In 1959, the Edmund J. Flynn Company, pioneers in co-operative ownership in D.C., converted The Presidential into a cooperative apartment house. Prices ranged from $8,100 for bachelor units to $65,000 for one of the doctor’s suites on the ground floor, and the annual operating budget was $45,792.
With its central location, proximity to museums, restaurants and the K street corridor, and with its old world charm, the Presidential is a highly sought-after address, as described in James W. Goode’s book “Best Addresses.”