About the Building
The four-story warehouse at 52 O Street NW in Washington, DC was built in 1914 in what was then a remote, industrial part of town. It was designed by architect Clement Didden, who’d previously assisted Richard Morris Hunt in the design of landmarks including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Over the years, the building has housed a meat-packing company, a plumbing company, a Hecht’s furniture factory, and Decca Records.
52 O Street was converted into artist studios in 1978 by Eric Rudd, who felt there was a shortage of affordable space for Washington-based artists. It was simple to convert the warehouse into art studios, because of its open, flexible spaces and high ceilings. Marty Youmans purchased the building in 2003 and continues to maintain it as a community for DC’s working artists.