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Embassy Row Walking Tour
From: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Washingtons Massachusetts Avenue, better known as Embassy Row, is now home to a multitude of ambassadors residences, chanceries, and other edifices that serve D.C.s diplomatic community.
It was another set of transplants, however, who established the area as the it neighborhood of Gilded Age D.C.: the nouveau-riche. Well introduce you to the families who decided to showcase their novel fortunes in the nations capital: members of the first ranks of mining, railroads, banking, publishing, politicians, and speculators in the 1880s and 90s.
Spendthrift offspring, the Great Depression, and other misfortune eventually drained the resources of many families. Only 50 years later, embassies, clubs, and other institutions were buying up their mansions for as little as 10 cents on a dollar.
Track the evolution of the neighborhood as you learn about:
- Beaux-Arts architecture, the areas dominant style;
- Luxury micro-apartments carved out of the former home of a countess-turned-newspaper-editor;
- The high life of the last private owner of the Hope Diamond, Evalyn Walsh McLean, and her spirited (and controversial) chum, Alice Roosevelt Longworth;
- The countrys oldest patriotic organization (and home to one of the first diplomats to live on Massachusetts Ave);
- A traffic circle that serves as a virtual time capsule, showcasing preserved turn-of-the-century buildings;
- The benefitsand challengesof having embassies as neighbors.