As our nation’s capitol, Washington D.C. has no shortage of historic homes. Much of America’s history ties directly to structures in this extraordinary city. From civil rights activists, to politicians, to brewmasters, a wide variety of stories converged in Washington, D.C after the founding of this country. If you’re considering moving to Washington D.C., perhaps you might consider owning your own historical residence. Here are a few of our favorites for inspiration:
Old Stone House
The aptly named Old Stone House is the oldest structure on its original foundation in Washington D.C. Constructed in 1766, Old Stone House was once an inn, then a clockmaker’s shop. Strangely, the house became a used car dealership until it was purchased by the National Park Service in the 1950’s.
Once the home of Martha Washington’s granddaughter, Tudor Place hosted an array of wealthy Washington elite throughout the 1800’s. Unfortunately, it was originally purchased with profits from selling slaves. That fact is recognized by its historic preservers.
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House
Mary McLeod Bethune was an African American stateswoman, civil rights activist, and philanthropist who lived through the late 1800’s and into mid 1900’s. Her residence also hosted the National Council of Negro Women until 1949. It continued to serve as a headquarters for the NCNW after Bethune’s death. Today, it is open to the public for tours and educational programs. Its two-story carriage house holds the National Archives for Black Women’s History.
Clara Barton House
Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, lived in this home from 1897-1912. The American Red Cross staff office was briefly stationed here. A replica of the office is available for viewing.
Constructed between 1892-1894, this building was once the home of German brewer Christian Heurich. Interestingly, Heurich’s self-named brewing company was the longest-running brewery in Washington, D.C. After Heurich’s death, his widow donated the home to the Historical Society of Washington, who used it as a headquarters until 2003. The Society preserved the entirety of the home’s original interior.
Dumbarton Oaks is home to the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. The original owner, William Hammond Dorsey, built the first part of the structure in 1801. A century later, the Bliss family acquired the property and expanded it to its current size. Afterward, the family founded the research institute. Currently, Dumbarton Oaks sponsors fellowships and scholarships in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies.
Owning Your Own
If you love the beautiful historic homes of Washington DC, why not live in one yourself? Though these examples are open to the public, you can find hundreds of historic homes in the Washington, D.C area, just waiting for a new owner. For an updated list of available homes in Washington, D.C, browse Redfin’s listings for homes built before 1900. Or, read Curbed‘s curated selection of D.C homes.
Moving Into History
If you do decide to move into a historic home, make sure that you understand the challenges and responsibilities of ownership. For more information, check out our blog post about Moving Into a Historic Home.
Olympia has the experience to move you into your own historic home. We can make your transition from a modern house into a piece of the past easy and seamless.