You are here: American University University Library Archives Finding Aids Shannon & Luchs Archive

VOLUME: 13.75 linear feet

ACCESS: This collection is open to the public upon request.

COPYRIGHT: Please consult the archivist for information about duplication or publishing of any materials from this collection.

Administrative History
Founded in 1906, Shannon & Luchs was one of the largest D.C.-based real estate firms of the twentieth century. Over the course of its existence the firm offered property appraisals, new building construction, mortgage financing, insurance, sales, leasing, and property management services. Members of the Shannon and Luchs families managed the business until 1993, when the company’s residential real estate division was sold to Weichert, Realtors, and the commercial real estate division to the Polinger Company.
The founders, Morton J. Luchs and Herbert T. Shannon, met on a construction site when the latter was a real estate agent and the former a construction foreman for the project; they quickly decided to form a real estate business together. The two agreed that Shannon would serve as president of the new company and Luchs as vice president. Shannon’s sons William and then Foster each served in turn as president of the company. Likewise, Luchs’s son Frank and grandson Kenneth each served for a period as vice president of the company. After Foster Shannon passed away in 1989, Kenneth Luchs became president and remained in the position through the 1993 sale of the company.
Shannon & Luchs was known for its original approach to residential property development in its early years, constructing a number of architecturally varied residential developments from the 1910s through the 1930s. By mid-century, the firm had largely abandoned the construction arm of its business, shifting its focus to property management and commercial and residential sales. Shannon & Luchs managed many of the largest commercial properties in the District, as well as a variety of large apartment complexes. In the last half of the century the firm brokered a number of high profile commercial sales and supported an active residential sales division.

Scope and Content Note
This collection covers the period from circa 1900 to 1994, with the bulk of materials created between 1930 and 1970. Apart from an early check register and a small cache of early personal and advertising materials, very little of the firm’s first fifteen years are documented in this collection. Materials include appraisal reports and accompanying documentation, commercial brokerage and property management files, sales records, corporate and financial records, speeches and publications, office publications and policies, employee training documents and policies, correspondence, brochures, press releases, speeches, photographs and scrapbooks.
The majority of the materials in the collection was created by, or is associated with, members of the Luchs family. The bulk of the collection consists of appraisals conducted by Morton and Frank Luchs and their staff members from the 1920s through the 1960s. This portion describes not only properties but also their surrounding neighborhoods at given moments in time. The administrative series documents aspects of Shannon & Luchs management and the publicity series documents Shannon & Luchs’s marketing efforts and media coverage. The final series documents the personal and professional activities of Morton, Frank and Kenneth Luchs. The collection does not contain much evidence of Shannon & Luchs’s construction projects, nor does it provide much documentation of the insurance and mortgage financing aspects of the firm’s business.

Kenneth Luchs donated the Shannon & Luchs archive to the American University Library in 2011.

Processing Note
The processing archivist divided the collection into four series: administrative, appraisals, publicity, and personal and professional activities. The folders in the appraisals series remain in their original order with original titles, with the exception of documents that were removed to separate series or separated into their own folders. Titles to existing folders were retained where possible.
Many of the remaining materials in the collection were originally unfoldered and arranged without a clear order, so the archivist arranged unfoldered items into acid-free folders, and assigned each a title. She then placed all folders in separate series and arranged them alphabetically within each series. Some large materials were removed to an oversize box. Items within folders were placed in chronological order throughout the collection, and undated materials were placed at the back of each folder. Metal fasteners and duplicate documents were removed. Where possible, bound documents were disbound. Moldy documents were replaced with photocopies then discarded.

Series Descriptions & Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Administrative (1906-1994)
3 linear feet

This series consists of materials related to the administration of Shannon & Luchs. Contents include commercial brokerage files, property management files, investment property files, sales records, lease clause indexes, corporate and financial records, office publications and policies, employee orientation and training documents, and correspondence. This series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Box 1
1113-17 Fifteenth Street, N.W., March 1963-October 1963
1501 M Street Partnership Meeting Report, February, 1991
4600 Connecticut Ave. N.W. Tax Assessment Appeal, 1963-1964
6101 Blair Road, N.W., Blakeney Property, 1956-1962
Academy II Training Documents, August 1991
American Realty Services Group, 1977-1981
American University Undergraduate Contest, 1988
Brokerage Department Audit Report, May 1924
Check Register, 1906-1907
Cocoa Beach, Florida, 1964-1967, See also: oversize box 19
Columbia Plaza, 1965-1988
Columbia Plaza RESTRICTED, 1975-1987
Commercial Brokerage Division Presentation for Managers’ Meeting, March 23, 1988
Commercial Brokerage Division Quarterly Reports, 1989-1990
Commercial Brokerage Division Strategic Business Planning, February 19, 1992
Commercial Brokerage Maryland Region Business Plan Draft, circa 1990
Commercial Brokerage Sales and Leases, 1990-1992
Commercial Marketing Department Publication Examples, circa 1989
Community Research and Development, September 1962
Construction Department Annual Report, circa February 28, 1925
Construction Department Audit Report, July 8, 1924
Corporate Finances, Audit Report, circa February 28, 1925
Corporate Financial Statements, March 1924-June 1924
Corporate Records, Shannon & Luchs, Inc., 1924-1930
Corporate Records, Shannon & Luchs, Inc. 1931-1947
Corporate Records, Shannon & Luchs Construction Company, 1924-1935
Corporate Records, Shannon & Luchs Development Company, 1932-1950
Corporate Records, Shannon & Luchs Properties, Inc. 1931-1944
Corporation Annual Meetings, 1931

Box 2
Correspondence, 1923-1973
Correspondence, 1990-1992
Employee Manual, June 1992
Employee Orientation and Policies, 1987-1989
Employee Orientation Audio Tapes, circa 1990
Employee Relations, RESTRICTED, 1984-1991
Employee Training: System Plus Support Equals Success, 1978
Hecht Co., May 1952-June 1962
Heft - Rose Hill Tract, April 1963
Lease Clause Index, 1939-1942
Lease Clause Index A-L, circa 1947-1963
Lease Clause Index M-Z, circa 1947-1963
Lease Clause Index A-L, circa 1951-1973
Lease Clause Index M-Z, circa 1951-1973
Managers’ Retreat, April 1992
Market Reports, Commercial Brokerage Division, 1989
Memos, 1961-1963
Memos, 1964
Memos, 1990
National Munsey Joint Venture, 1958-1967
National Munsey Joint Venture Agreements, 1963
The Neighborhood Shopping Center in Washington, D.C. 1930-1941, 1992
North Capitol Plaza Building MEBA Pension Trust Proposal, August 1991
Office Buildings: Who will build them this time?, 1949
Office Directories, 1930-1962
Office Newsletter: CBD News & Profiles, June 1990
Office Newsletter: Just Between Us!, 1946-1947
Office Newsletter: Person to Person, January 1992-March 1992
Office Newsletter: Property Lines, 1989-1993
Office Newsletter: S & L Scoop, 1981-1992
Office Relocation for Shannon & Luchs, June 1986
Office Relocation for Shannon & Luchs, July 1986-August 1987
Out-of-Town Prospects, 1960-1962
Paraguayan Investment, April 1962-May 1962
Parking Stores, Inc., 1940-1963, See also: oversize box 19
Pennsylvania Building at 13th St. N.W., 1954-1959
Pennsylvania Building at 13th St. N.W., 1960-1962

Box 3
Power Plan Training Documents, June 1991
Property Management, 1990-1992
Property Management Division Marketing Strategy Internal Focus Group, March 27, 1989
Property Management Leasing Report Guidelines, circa 1990
Property Management Memo Index, circa 1930-1945
Property Management Memo Index, circa 1949-1963
Proposal for Management of Realtors Building, 14th St. N.W., January 27, 1987
Raleigh Hotel, 1962-1963
Sale of 3568 11th St. N.W., April 1907
Sales Contract for 1305 H St. N.W., May 1924
Sales Department, December 1962-July 1963
Sales Records, 1922-1954
Sales Records, 1928-1957
Sales Records, 1938-1955
Sales Records, 1952-1958
Sales Records, 1967-1968
The Shannon & Luchs Building, circa 1930
Shannon & Luchs Development Company Stock Certificates, 1934-1938
Tax Rates and Economic Trends, 1962
Thomas House, June 1964-July 1964
Trans-Lux Building, 1946-1964
Virginia Office, 1958-1961
Waechter, Alfred, Investor, 1961-1964
Washington Area Commercial Brokers Council State of the Market Report, 1991
Woodward Building Corporation, 1964
Wyatt Building, 1979
Wyatt Building, 1980-1987
Zoning Commission, March 1964

Series 2: Appraisals (1922-1964)
7 linear feet

This series documents property appraisals conducted by Shannon & Luchs throughout the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. It includes appraisal reports and accompanying documents, including worksheets and notes, affidavits, leases, contracts, photographs and correspondence. The more extensive appraisal reports describe not only each property under review but also the characteristics of the neighborhood in which it was located. Related documents often indicate the reason the appraisal was undertaken.
The first box contains the appraisal files of Shannon & Luchs co-founder Morton J. Luchs from the 1920s-1930s, while the remaining six boxes contain those of his son, Frank Luchs, from the 1930s-1960s. The folders in this series are arranged alphabetically by the name of the individual or institution for which the appraisal was made, by property name, by project name or by correspondent name. Folders with specific titles contain materials related to one client or property. Some oversize items were moved to flat storage (box 19).

Morton J. Luchs File
Box 4

A, 1926-1937, See also: oversize box 19
B, 1925-1937
C, 1924-1945
D, 1924-1929
E, 1934-1936
F, 1924-1934
G, 1926-1938
H, 1923-1939, See also: oversize box 19
Hechinger, January 1937-July 1937
Irving Trust Company, February 1935-March 1936
Johnson, September 1929-June 1931
K, 1928-1933
L, 1922-1937, See also: oversize box 19
M, 1923-1938
N, 1923-1938
O, 1935-1938
P, 1934-1937
Patterson Tract, 1925-1935
Patterson Tract Plans, circa 1925-1934, See also: oversize box 19
R, 1922-1936
S, 1923-1937, See also: oversize box 19
Swartzell, Rheem and Hansey Company, 1931-1936
T, 1924-1935
US-DC Fiscal Relations Study, September 1936-January 1937
US-DC Fiscal Relations Study Report, January 1937
V, 1926-1933
W, 1922-1938

Frank J. Luchs File
Box 5

A, 1946-1950
A, 1951-1954, See also: oversize box 19
A, 1955-1963, See also: oversize box 19
B, 1940-1950
B, 1951-1954
B, 1956-1958
B, 1959
B, 1960-1961
Behrend, 1985-1959
Benenson, 1959-1961
Brentwood Village, 1961-1964, See also: oversize box 19
C, 1942-1951
C, 1952
C, 1953-1956
C, 1957-1959, See also: oversize box 19
C, 1960, See also: oversize box 19
C, 1961-1962
Continental Life Insurance Company, April 1949-May 1949, See also: oversize box 19
D, 1941-1950

Box 6
D, 1951-1955
DC Government 9th and G Streets, July 1962-September 1963
DC Government, 4901-3-7 V St. N.W., July 1962-October 1962
Defense Homes Corporation, November 1947-January 1948, See also: oversize box 19
Drug Fair Drug Stores, December 1960-March 1962
E, 1943-1963
Esso Standard Oil Company, 1950-1954
Esso Standard Oil Company, 1955-1957
F, 1941-1952
F, 1953, See also: oversize box 19
F, 1954-1961
G, 1940-1952, See also: oversize box 19
G, 1953
G, 1954-1956
G, 1957-1960
Gelman Construction Company, May 1954-September 1955
Gelman Construction Company, October 1955-April 1956
GSA Evening Star Building, 1961-1962, See also: oversize box 19
GSA Parr-Franconia Warehouse, March 1957- March 1958
H, 1940-1949, See also: oversize box 19
H, 1950-1955, See also: oversize box 19
H, 1956-1963
Hecht Company, January 1951-November 1951

Box 7
Hornstein, June 1961-November 1961
I, 1952-1954
J, 1941-1954
J, 1956-1962
Justice Department, July 1955-December 1955
Justice Department Lake Barcroft Appraisal Report and Plans, July 1953
Justice Department Lake Barcroft Worksheets, Photos, Correspondence, 1953-1955
K, 1937-1947
K, 1948-1949
K, 1950-1952
K, 1953-1957
K, 1958
K, 1959
K, 1960-1963
Kaiser Engineers, August 1962-October 1962, See also: oversize box 19
Kotz Estate, 1958-1961
L, 1940-1946
L, 1947-1952
L, 1953-1954, See also: oversize box 19
L, 1955-1958
L, 1960-1961
L, 1962
M, 1939-1950

Box 8
M, 1951-1952
M, 1954-1959
M, 1960-1962
Mayflower Hotel Correspondence and Report, April 1952-February 1953
Mayflower Hotel Documents, May 1952
Mayflower Hotel Financials, circa April 1952-May 1952
Mayflower Hotel Photographs, circa April 1952-May 1952
Mayflower Hotel Plans, circa April 1952-May 1952
Mayflower Hotel Worksheets, circa April 1952-May1952
Mc, 1940-1958
N, 1940-1950
N, 1951-1962
National Capital Housing Authority, June 1951-September 1951
National Capital Transportation Agency, October 1962-November 1962
O, 1950-1960
P, 1938-1948, See also: oversize box 19
P, 1951-1960
Parr-Franconia Warehouse, 1952-1958, See also: oversize box 19
R, 1941-1948, See also: oversize box 19

Box 9
R, 1949-1950
R, 1951-1954
R, 1955-1962
S, 1939-1948
S, 1949-1950
S, 1951-1952
S, 1953-1954
S, 1955-1959
S, 1960-1962
Schlosberg, September 1951- February 1952
Schlosberg, May 1952-May 1954
Smith Condemnation, March 1963-December 1963
Southwest DC Redevelopment Appraisal Reports and Worksheets for Squares 497, 540 and 541, March 1953-February 1956
Southwest DC Redevelopment Appraisal Reports and Worksheets for Squares 538 and 539, December 1955-May 1957, See also: oversize box 19
Southwest DC Redevelopment Correspondence, 1952-1956
Southwest DC Redevelopment Photographs, circa 1951-1956
Southwest DC Redevelopment Plans, circa 1951-1956
Southwest DC Redevelopment Publicity and Published Studies, circa 1951-1956
Sun Life Insurance Company of Canada, 1947-1956
Sun Life Insurance Company of Canada, 1957-1962

Box 10
T, 1947-1951
T, 1952-1954
T, 1955-1961
Taylor, May 1955- September 1955
Teachers Insurance Company, March 1952-July 1953
U, 1939-1951
Union Central Life Insurance Company, 1946- 1947
Union Central Life Insurance Company, 1948-1949
Union Central Life Insurance Company, 1950, See also: oversize box 19
Union Central Life Insurance Company, 1951-1958
Union Central Life Insurance Company, 1959-1961
Union Central Life Insurance Company, 1962-1964
Union Central Life Insurance Company, Northwood Shopping Center, July 1949-August 1949
Union Central Life Insurance Company, Van Dorn Apartments, 1962-1964
V, 1953-1954
W, 1939-1949
W, 1950
W, 1951-1954
Washington Real Estate Board Appraisals Committee, 1941-1943
Washington Real Estate Board Appraisals Committee, 1946-1947
Washington Real Estate Board Appraisals Committee, 1948
Washington Real Estate Board Appraisals Committee, 1949-1950
Young, February 1953
Zirkin, April 1941-August 1941

Series 3: Publicity (circa 1900-1993)
3 linear feet

This series documents the public side of Shannon & Luchs. Many of the materials in this series were created or commissioned by the firm. Others were not, such as clippings from news and magazine articles. The series includes advertisements and other marketing materials, brochures, press releases, photographs, correspondence, clippings, documents related to the history of the firm, and scrapbooks.
The scrapbooks comprise the bulk of the series and contain Shannon & Luchs newspaper advertisements as well as articles about the firm and members of the Luchs family. Due to the large size of many of the scrapbooks, the first six boxes in this series contain oversize scrapbooks, while the remaining folders are arranged alphabetically in the boxes that follow.

Box 11
Scrapbook: Articles, 1922-1959
Scrapbook, 50th Anniversary: Advertisements, Articles and Letters, 1956
Scrapbook: Advertisements, 1947-1950
Box 12
Scrapbook: Articles, 1927-1940
Scrapbook: Advertisements, 1940-1943

Box 13
Scrapbook: Advertisements, 1948-1951
Scrapbook: Advertisements, 1951-1953
Scrapbook: Advertisements, 1953-1955

Box 14
Scrapbook: Advertisements, 1955-1957
Scrapbook: Articles, 1971-1976
Scrapbook: Articles, 1973-1979
Scrapbook, Corporate Advertising and PR: Advertisements and Articles, 1979-1986
Scrapbook: Articles, 1972-1986
Scrapbook #1: Articles, 1976-1980

Box 15
Scrapbook : Articles, 1964

Box 16
Scrapbook: Articles, 1972
Scrapbook #2: Articles, 1979-1981
Scrapbook #3: Articles, 1981-1982

Box 17
Ad Mockups, circa 1985-1990
Advertising Giveaways, circa 1990-1992
Advertising Payment, 1911
Brochures, circa 1972-1985
Business Properties Magazine articles by employees, 1988-1989
Capitol Vision: 85 Years with Shannon & Luchs VHS, circa 1991
Clippings, 1909-1956
Clippings, 1957-1963
Clippings, 1964-1993
Company History, circa 1906-1991
Correspondence, 1935-1992
Depression Era Advertising, 1930-1940
Foster Shannon Tributes, July 1989-August 1989
Historical Photographs for 85th Anniversary, December 1990
Insurance Newsletter: Professionals in Action, 1991
Kenneth Luchs Biographical Information, circa 1990-1992
Media Clipboard, 1989-1990
Middaugh & Shannon, 1901
Million Dollar Sales Club Awards Ceremony (1990), 1991
Photo Albums, circa 1930
Photographs of Buildings, circa 1900-1960, See also: oversize box 19
Photographs of Buildings, circa 1960-1990
Photographs of Ken Luchs, circa 1980-1992
Photographs of People, circa 1920-1970, See also: oversize box 19
Photographs of People, circa 1980-1990
Power Marketing Tools, circa 1989-1990
Premier Collection Residential Sales Listings, 1989-1990
Press Releases and Advertising Calendars, 1989-1990
The Purchasing Power of Your Rent Money, 1912
Radio Advertising, 1972-1981

Box 18
Scrapbook, 1955
Scrapbook, 1956-1964
Scrapbook, 1958-1960
Scrapbook, 1958-1960
Scrapbook: Foster Shannon, President, Washington Board of Realtors, 1971-1973
Scrapbook, Second National Bank, 1959
Scrapbook, Suburban Advertising Book #1, May 1913-June 1913
Shannon & Luchs 75th Anniversary Promotion, 1980-1981

Series 4: Personal and Professional Activities (1905-1994)
0.5 linear feet

This series documents the personal and professional activities of Morton, Frank and Kenneth Luchs, with an emphasis on the latter two. It includes awards and certificates, speeches, publications, contracts, correspondence, and documents related to participation in professional, political, social and personal activities. Folders are arranged alphabetically by title.

Box 18, continued
3543 Chesapeake St. N.W., 1939-1948
American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers, 1961-1964
American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers Meeting, December 1961-April 1962
Awards and Certificates, 1938-1986, See also: oversize box 19
Correspondence, 1949-1964
Correspondence, 1981-1994
Dodge Automobile, circa 1905
Frank and Kenneth Luchs School Papers, 1931-1964
Frank Luchs as 1960-61 WREB President Printing Block, circa 1960
Frank Luchs Speeches, circa 1947-1960
Freehold: The Magazine of Real Estate, September 1939
Hydrofoils, 1964
Ken Luchs Speeches and Publications, circa 1980-1990
Mortgage Bankers Association of Metropolitan Washington Membership, 1964
Morton Luchs Memberships, 1933-1935
Realtor Magazine, 1960-1971
Society of Real Estate Appraisers, April 1972
Washington Board of Realtors President Ken Luchs Congratulations, 1979-1981
Washington Board of Realtors Realtor of the Year Frank Luchs, 1962-1963
Washington Board of Realtors Realtor of the Year Ken Luchs, October 1983
Washington Board of Realtors Testimonial Dinner, 1961-1962
Washington Real Estate Board Correspondence, 1959
Washington Real Estate Board Correspondence, 1960
Washington Real Estate Board Documents, 1959-1962
Washington Real Estate Board News, May 1955

Box 19

Administrative—Cocoa Beach Florida, 1964-1967
Administrative—Parking Stores, Inc., 1940-1963
Appraisals—Morton J. Luchs File—A, 1926-1937
Appraisals—Morton J. Luchs File—H, 1923-1939
Appraisals—Morton J. Luchs File—L, 1922-1937
Appraisals—Morton J. Luchs File—Patterson Tract Plans, circa 1925-1934
Appraisals—Morton J. Luchs File—S, 1923-1937
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—A, 1951-1954
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—A, 1956-1963
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—Brentwood Village, 1961-1964
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—C, 1957-1959
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—C, 1960
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—Continental Life Insurance Co., April 1949-May 1949
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—Defense Homes Corporation, November 1947-January 1948
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—F, 1953
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—G, 1940-1952
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—GSA Evening Star Building, 1961-1962
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—H, 1940-1949
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—H, 1950-1955
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—Kaiser Engineers, August 1962-October 1962
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—L, 1953-1954
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—P, 1938-1948
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—Parr-Franconia Warehouse, 1952-1958
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—R, 1941-1948
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—Southwest DC Redevelopment Appraisal Reports and Worksheets for Squares 538 & 539, December 1955-May 1957
Appraisals—Frank J. Luchs File—Union Central Life Insurance Company, 1950
Publicity—Photographs of Buildings, circa 1900-1960
Publicity—Photographs of People, circa 1920-1970
Personal and Professional—Awards and Certificates, 1938