South Cathedral Mansions Story

South Cathedral Mansions is a landmark apartment community with a remarkable history that dates back more than 90 years. Originally constructed from 1922 – 1924, the property was designed by the iconic team of Harry Wardman, one of DC’s most prolific builders, and well-known architect Mihran Mesrobian. As part of a three-building complex totaling 492 units, and early named “Five Courts Mansions,” it was thought to be the largest U.S. apartment community south of New York City at the time.

The success of Cathedral Mansions influenced a number of large apartment complexes in the late 1920s and 1930s in Washington, DC. South Cathedral Mansions was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 due to its association with the events of Washington, DC during the early 20th century and its distinctive artistic characteristics. It is also listed in the DC Inventory of Historic Sites.

In June 2014, a joint venture of CAS Riegler, Oculus Realty and Commonwealth Residential, purchased the apartment building and began a major renovation of the interior space and grounds. The primary goal was to maintain all aspects of the historic building including brick façade, casement windows, hardwood floors, marble staircases and the elegant lobby while providing a modern and luxurious design including an array of high-end amenities including state-of-the-art fitness center, sauna, steam room, outdoor pool, Carriage House community room and Basil’s Run dog park. Renovations were completed in 2017 and shortly thereafter was recognized by Delta Associates’ with its Award for Excellence for Best Renovation Apartment Community of 2017.