Unpainted pebble dash stucco in Washington, DC

Christ Church stucco in Washington, DC

A plaque at Christ Church shows it was built in 1809. The current pebble dash stucco wasn't done until the late 1890's, when the bell tower was built. More on the rich history of Christ Church here...

Christ Church in the 1920's

A view of Christ Church in the 20's or 30's

Christ Church in the 1890's

Christ Church has owned the Congressional Cemetery since 1812.

Chapel at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC

Chapel at the Congressional Cemetery has the same style as Christ Church. Christ Church officially owns Congressional Cemetery, but is managed and maintained by a non profit organization, The Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery. Follow this link for more... There is a waiting list to get a dog walking permit in the cemetery. The permit fee helps pay for maintainence and repairs.

Note the same style and color on the chapel as on Christ Church.

Close up of Chapel at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC

The stucco here on the chapel at Congressional Cemetery is still in amazing condition, despite a few spots like this chip above the 1903 plaque.

I recently took a tour of Congressional Cemetery. I recognized the style and color as the same as Christ Church.

Circa 1901 house in Adams Morgan area of Washington, DC

We just patched this house in Adams Morgan, a section of Washington, DC. Another house of the same style and color that had never been painted. This 1901 rowhouse was designed by Waddy Wood, a prominent DC architect. You may have seen details here, on my site....

Clow up of circa 1901 house in Adams Morgan area of Washington, DC.

A close up shows 3/8 pea gravel, and cement mortar made using river sand, possibly from nearby Rock Creek.

Unpainted stucco garage in Mount Pleasant area of Washington, DC

I took a picture of this garage, next door to a house we were working on in Mount Pleasant.

Close up of unpainted stucco garage in Mount Pleasant area of Washington, DC

Close up

Stucco rowhouse in Mount Pleasant

Another turn of the century house in Mount Pleasant.

I believe all of these buildings were stuccoed by the same people. Someone knew the secret of long lasting stucco.

All the buildings above were done with 3/8" pea gravel. 1/2" is more commonly used. The color and size leads me to believe the gravel was from the same place.

The mortar used was cement and river sand. Most stucco during this time period didn't contain any cement, but only lime and sand. Portland cement was for the most part, first used in stucco around 1890, even though it was invented about 1830. Lime and sand was still the preferred material until about 1930. From 1930 on, almost all stucco was cement mortar.

It took great skill to finish these walls top to bottom without leaving a join, that is a line where one stops and starts.

The method of throwing the pebble dash was the same, leading me to believe these were the same plasterers. Whatever the deep dark secret is for long lasting work, or who these mystery craftsmen were, are more secrets lost in time.