January 29, 2021

The Washington Post

Roger and Susan Gendron looked at about a dozen houses before choosing this rowhouse in Dupont Circle. They were drawn to its location and history. Designed by architect George O. von Nerta and built for lawyer Myer Cohen in 1892, the house was later home to Emmett J. Scott, chief aide to Booker T. Washington and the highest-ranking African American in Woodrow Wilson’s administration.

At first, the couple had modest renovation goals.

“When we started the process, we were just going to do a small rehab,” Roger said.

Like a lot of renovation projects, this one kept expanding. The expansion was driven in part by a health scare Susan endured during the four-year project. The renovation was a welcome distraction, giving her something other than her illness to focus on.

“We sat down, and we said, ‘You know, we may never get an opportunity to do something like this again,’ ” Roger said. “We don’t know what our future is. Let’s do it all now, do it the way it should be done.”