President’s house to get green upgrade

Renovations of Alumni House, the future home of University President Steven Knapp, will make the historical structure a bit greener.

Energy-efficient features will be built into the house and the building’s structural materials will be recycled in the renovating process, University spokesperson Adela de la Torre said.

“Historic preservation, by its nature, is a sustainable activity,” de la Torre wrote in an e-mail. “We’re reusing existing structure and materials to the extent possible.”

Knapp’s future home will include all new lighting fixtures, and the furnishings will come from both the University and the Knapp family.

Energy-efficient windows and lighting, along with environmentally friendly paint and carpet, will be used in the renovation. Knapp’s new residence will also be made handicap-accessible with the possible inclusion of a garage, but most other construction tweaks will occur inside the structure, she said.

The University president and his family said they are looking forward to moving in to their new residence at 1925 F St., although their expected move-in date is still unclear. Permits are still being processed, de la Torre said.

The building at 1925 F St. was built in 1849 as the residence of Navy Capt. Charles Steedman. American University bought the property twice, in 1920 and in the early 1940s, hoping to create a downtown campus, which never came to fruition.

From 1933 to 1999 the building was the F Street Club, a gathering place for Washington’s elite. Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton have all attended events at the club. In 1980, Reagan’s “Welcome to Washington” party was celebrated in the building.

GW purchased 1925 F St. from American University in 1974, and utilized the space from 1999 until 2007 as the Alumni House. The Office of Alumni Relations was located in the building, which was also used to host alumni events.

The Office of Alumni Relations has since been relocated to 1918 F St., the former location of RH Bistro.

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