33 Facts About Adolf Cluss


Adolf Ludwig Cluss known as Adolph Cluss was a German-born American immigrant who became one of the most important, influential and prolific architects in Washington, D C, in the late 19th century, responsible for the design of numerous schools and other notable public buildings in the capital.

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Adolf Cluss was a City Engineer and a Building Inspector for the Board of Public Works.

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Red brick was Adolf Cluss' favorite building material; that, and his early communist sympathies, led some to dub him the "Red Architect", though he was a man who in later life became a confirmed Republican.

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Adolf Cluss's father was a master builder, and young Cluss set out as an itinerant carpenter when he left Heilbronn at age nineteen.

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Adolf Cluss joined the Communist League and became a member of the Mainz Worker Council.

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Adolf Cluss immigrated to the United-States in 1848 at the age of 23.

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Adolf Cluss crossed the Atlantic on board the Zurich, a small sailing ship from Le Havre, France to New York City.

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Adolf Cluss spent the first six months in New York City where he perfected his English.

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Adolf Cluss looked for work in Philadelphia, Baltimore and finally settled in Washington, D C, in the 1849.

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Adolf Cluss did not like this position or his life in the city and considered going back to Europe.

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Adolf Cluss considered becoming a bookseller in 1852, requesting funds from his father who did not provide the funds.

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Adolf Cluss briefly returned to Europe in 1859 to receive his share of the inheritance this father had left him when he died in 1857 and returned to Philadelphia.

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Adolf Cluss attempted to become a brewer with a friend but the business soon failed and we was back to his old position in the Ordnance Department at the Washington Navy Yard working closely with Admiral John A Dahlgren.

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Adolf Cluss continued to work full-time at the Navy Yard until the following year and part-time as an architect.

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Adolf Cluss's partner was working full-time from Cluss' house on 2nd Street, NW.

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Adolf Cluss became an active member of the American Institute of Architects in 1867.

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Adolf Cluss maintained his solo private practice but became a Building Inspector for the Board of Public Works in Washington, DC.

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Adolf Cluss wrote building regulations and was a major proponent of the use of building permits and inspections.

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Adolf Cluss is a competent architect and engineer and an earnest and sincere republican, and in my opinion a gentleman of the very highest integrity.

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Adolf Cluss had become a member of the local Republican party by then and had led a volunteer committee of local Republicans coordinating parts of the President's inauguration after having been re-elected that same year.

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Adolf Cluss volunteered in President James A Garfield's inauguration committee in 1880.

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The partnership came to an end in 1889 when Adolf Cluss retired from his private practice having built almost 90 buildings including at least eleven schools, as well as markets, government buildings, museums, residences and churches.

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Adolf Cluss designed four major buildings on the National Mall, including the still-standing Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building.

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Adolf Cluss built six houses of worship including Calvary Baptist Church which still stands.

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Adolf Cluss was active as a builder of mansions for the Washington elite, such as Stewart's Castle on Dupont Circle.

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Adolf Cluss was an active member of the American Institute of Architects.

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Adolf Cluss was one of the founding members of the Washington, D C, chapter in 1887.

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Adolf Cluss became an Inspector of Federal Buildings in the Office of the Supervising Architect under the United States Department of the Treasury in 1889 after closing his private office in June of that year.

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Adolf Cluss testified in front of the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization on how the humidity was a concern in the building only a few months after it was built.

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Adolf Cluss inspected many other buildings around the country including the Post Office designed by Alfred B Mullet in Chicago.

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Adolf Cluss had solicited letters of support from several prominent people but was replaced by a Democrat.

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Descriptive list of Adolf Cluss's known buildings and an interactive map showing their locations can be found here.

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Adolf Cluss took some projects as a builder designed by other architects.

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