Architect Arthur Cotton Moore, 1935-2022


A giant of Washington architecture has passed. Arthur Cotton Moore, who designed Georgetown’s Washington Harbour, bringing new life to the Potomac waterfront, and who led the stunning historic preservation and restorations of the Library of Congress and the Old Post Office building, died Sept. 4 at the age of 87.

His wife Patricia Moore told the Washington Post the cause of death was pulmonary fibrosis.

Born in Kalorama in 1935, Moore was a sixth-generation Washingtonian, whose work is all around the city, the region — and in Georgetown. He went to St. Albans School and then earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from Princeton University.

Fellow Georgetowner and architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen once told the Post, “I wish I had designed as much of my town as he has.”

Moore’s first project was the Canal Square mixed-used complex on M Street which borders 31st Streets as well as the C&O Canal and includes the building that housed Henry Hollerith’s company that become IBM.

Moore also built the Foundry Building and renovated the Old Foundry Building that stand in front of the C&O Canal between 30th and Thomas Jefferson Streets. His other works include Harborside (next to Washington Harbour), the Cairo, the Goh Annex of the Phillis Collection, Foxhall Crescents, Portals, Rizik’s and private residences.

In his non-preservation work, Moore style has been described as “Modernism with Baroque sensibilities.”  “People are tired of endless grid-crunching,” Moore told an interviewer. “Baroque deals with modern design’s fear and loathing of the curve — just what I think is missing in modern design.” The multi-talented architect himself wrote that he was nationally and internationally recognized for his contributions “to Architecture, Master Planning, Furniture Design, Writing, and Painting.”

In the 1980s and ’90s, Moore and his wife lived in the tall, light-bricked building that he designed, west of the Georgetown Exxon on Canal Road, before retiring to the Watergate. They had a home in Talbot County, Maryland.

Survivors include his wife of nearly six decades, the former Patricia Stefan of Washington; a son from his first marriage, Gregory W. Moore of Highland Park, New Jersey; a sister; a brother; and a grandson.

Moore will be laid to rest at Oak Hill Cemetery on R Street in Georgetown.

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