Architect Frank Russell White was born in Brooklyn, New York on May 2, 1889. He attended public schools in New York, and attended the Pennsylvania Military College between 1903 and 1904. He first came to Washington in 1908 to work as an architect for the Harry Wardman Company, for whom he worked for the next twenty-five years.
He specialized in apartment building designs for Harry Wardman, but also designed more than 5,000 single dwelling houses for the Wardman Company. He and his wife Carolyn resided for most of his career at 4645 Alton Place, NW.
Perhaps his best known apartment building is the Wardman Park Hotel & Apartments at 2660 Woodley Road in Woodley Park, completed in 1917. White also designed three of the buildings at Clifton Terrace, 14th and Clifton Street, in 1917, and the famed Chateau Thierry at 1920 S Street, in 1918.
White established his own practice in 1922 with an office at 1340 F Street. One of his primary clients included Christian Heurich, for which he designed the Heurich Building at 1627 K Street in 1939.
The Great Depression was difficult for many of the country’s architects, but apparently especially so for Frank White. He was arrested on October 26, 1931 in Baltimore, on the charge of altering and raising $1 notes to represent $100 notes. He pleaded guilty in December of that year, and served a two year prison sentence.
Copyright Paul K. Williams