Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Mayfair Mansion, the former home of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshal, is being renovated. The building, constructed in 1946, in the Colonial Revival Style, occupies the area once used for the Benning Race Track. The Mayfair was the project of Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux, who wins - hands down - the contest for most interesting name for anyone involved in the field of development in Washington DC. The building was designed by famed local architect, Samuel I. Cassell. Cassell was the architect at Howard University and designed many of the buildings on the campus. The Mayfair has 569 housing units and was declared a city historical landmark. It was one of the first buildings to be designated to provide subsidized housing in the Washington DC. Preservation and Development Corp. and Marshall Heights Community Development Organization purchased Mayfair Mansions in a bid to preserve affordable housing in the District. Tenants of the apartment complex in Ward 7 picked the two nonprofit organizations to buy and redo the complex last year. The D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development provided a $24 million loan to fund the purchase. The proposed plans for the complex include maintaining 409 units in the affordable rental pool and converting 160 units to affordable condominiums. Renovations are scheduled to start early next year.