Home News A Gilded Age Mansion Asking $14.5 Million Is Washington, D.C.’s, Priciest New Listing

A Gilded Age Mansion Asking $14.5 Million Is Washington, D.C.’s, Priciest New Listing

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Jeff Bezos

Bezos paid $23 million to buy two historic mansions in Washington, DC, side by side. Bill Gates and Ivanka Trump.


Now, another one of the city’s historic mansions hopes to follow suit.

The Jewett House, a circa-1905 Georgian Revival mansion that served for decades as the headquarters of the progressive Baumann Foundation, is listed at $14.5 million. At approximately 16,504 square feet, the property is the most expensive home on the city’s market, according to TTR Sotheby’s International Realty listing agent Michael Rankin. And while the majority of large Gilded Age mansions in DC and across the country are now used as commercial or institutional spaces, Jewett House is marketed as a single-family home.

Patricia Bauman and husband Prince John Landrum Bryant.


Milad Vader

John Landrum Bryant, vice president of the Bauman Foundation, said, “This house would be perfect for Bezos. philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, his ex-wife, he said.

Bryant knows something about elite housing preferences. He is married to Patricia Baumann, the estate heiress whose father founded the Baumann Foundation, and holds the title of Prince of the Spanish town of Monteagudo, commonly known as Prince John.

The detached house on the border of Dupont Circle and the Kalorama district was built for Major R. Dickinson Jewett, and an annex was added a few years later, Prince John said. The foundation has been based in a brick-and-limestone building since the early 1990s and has leased office space to other nonprofits at below-market prices, he said. We have moved and the building is vacant.

“It will be a wonderful place for our family,” said Prince John. Prince John said the annex could be used as a family foundation or office, and said, “In the main house, you’ll have the experience of living in the Golden Age, which will be a lot of fun.”

Photo of Jewett House, circa 1906.


American architect and new building

When the Jewett House was built, the neighborhood was very different from what it is today, says historian Stephen Hansen, author of A History of Dupont Circle: A High Society Center in the Capital. With the arrival of the Gilded Age around the 1880s, the wealthy began building opulent mansions in the Dupont Circle area to show off their wealth, Hansen said. At the time, “DuPont was basically the center of high society in Washington,” he says, home to inventor Alexander Graham Bell and Marshall Field & Company co-founder Levi Leiter. I was there. Owners of these grand homes came to Europe, Bar Harbor, Newport, etc. to escape the summer heat for the social season that began when Congress resumed in November and lasted just before Easter. “Stuck in Washington for the summer was a mistake,” he said. During the season, they used their home for large-scale entertainment, from dinner parties to concerts and balls. “At the DuPont circle during the season, it was just him one big party,” Hansen said.

Dupont Circle in the early 1900s.


Detroit Publishing Co./Library of Congress

He said the early 1900s, when Jewett House was built, were the twilight of the Gilded Age. At 16,500 square feet, it’s huge by modern standards, but slightly smaller than many nearby homes on Dupont Circle, Hansen said.

The home, designed by architects Marsh & Peter, has three floors and an English-style basement, Rankin said. According to Prince John, the name of Jewett House is carved into the limestone above the front door. According to his 1906 article in The Washington Times, it cost him over $70,000 to build the house, or about $2.35 million in today’s dollars.

Jewett House

American architect and new building
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The circa 1906 and current buildings are made of brick and limestone.

Major Jewett was a prominent lawyer who died in 1917, according to the genealogy group Jewett Family of America. According to Jewett’s family history, written in 1908, he served in the National Guard and was a lawyer in New York City and DC.

Major Jewett and his wife, Elise Jewett, had a large family and owned multiple properties in Washington, D.C. and Upper Nyack, New York, according to court documents filed in connection with the settlement of Mrs. Jewett’s property. In Upper Nyack, a village about 30 miles north of New York City, the Jewett family is a prominent member of the community and a street is named after the family, said Upper Nyak Village historian Winston Perry.

As the fortunes of the Gilded Age were ruined by the income tax of the early 20th century,th In the 19th century, the Dupont Circle mansion was sold, Hansen said. Many have been converted to commerce or museums, others have become embassies. Hansen said the area became a historic district in his 1976, saving some of the homes from being demolished.

Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1954.


Bettmann/Getty Images

After Mrs. Jewett died in Upper Nyack in 1946, the Jewett House was sold. In April 1947, W. & J. Sloan purchased the building for his $250,000 furniture store, court documents say.

In 1955, the Boy Scouts of America purchased the building with the help of a late socialite and heir. Marjorie Merriweather Post, According to Jason Speck, the head of the Hillwood Archives and Special Collections was Mr. Post’s former home, now a museum. Ms. Post was a friend of Mortimer Schiff, a major figure in the Boy Scouts’ early history, and throughout her life donated land and money to the organization, Speck said. Post donated $50,000 to help Boy Scouts buy the Jewett House and use it as a scout service center for the BSA’s Metropolitan Council, Speck said. It is not clear what the Boy Scouts paid for the building.

The Boy Scouts used the space as an administrative facility, but it soon fell out of use, Speck said. By 1969, the organization had to rent space at the local church to host its conferences and meetings, so it began raising money to build a new service center. Mr. Post also donated cash and stock to the campaign, Speck said.

Property records show that the Boy Scouts sold the building to the National Association of Science Teachers for $525,000 in 1974. Records show that the Baumann Foundation bought it for his $2.1 million in 1993.

The stairs are about 8 feet wide.


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Prince John, 84, is a jewelery designer by profession. His wife, New York real estate mogul Lionel, who founded the Baumann Foundation in 1982, is the daughter of Baumann. Mr. Baumann, 80, is the foundation’s president and co-director, while Prince John is vice-president and co-director. directed by. For years, the couple lived in a large house within walking distance of the Jewett House.

According to Prince John, Jewett House was in disrepair when it was purchased, but retained original details such as an eight-foot-wide curved staircase and mahogany pocket doors in the dining room. and spent about $2 million on the restoration, said Prince John, who is spearheading the effort. They revamped the building’s heating and cooling system, but kept most of the original ceilings, doors and hinges.

Gilded Age Details

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The house retains many of its original details. Townshend visuals (4)

According to Prince John’s estimates, the house originally had 9 or 10 bedrooms, but now consists of 38 offices and 5 meeting rooms. There are 10 bathrooms, 5 kitchenettes and an elevator. According to Prince John, the Baumann Foundation’s office was the mansion’s living room. The dining room, with its fireplace and coffered ceiling, has become a meeting room used by all organizations in the building.

Rankin said the building still feels like home, even though some changes have been made to the original layout. The foyer, dining room and sitting room remain intact, and although some bedrooms have been split for use as offices, “it was easy to see that they were bedrooms,” he said. Fireplaces remain in many rooms and can be reopened while they are closed, Prince John said. We estimate that buyers are likely to spend more than that to personalize it.

The Baumann Foundation is selling because “it’s time to downsize,” Prince John said. The couple sold his big house in DC, moved to New York, and runs the foundation out of their apartment.

Rankin says historic homes of this size are extremely rare to come to market in Washington, DC. In 2007, his 1810 Federal-style mansion in Georgetown was sold for his $23.96 million, according to real estate records. Another mansion, Evermay, built around 1800, was purchased in 2011 by biotech executives Sachiko Kuno and Ryuji Ueno for his $22 million and is used as a residence for the nonprofit S&R Evermay.

In recent years, however, it has become common for historic mansions across the country to return to their original uses and become single-family homes. Used as a museum. In 2017, comedian Jay Leno paid his $13.5 million for Seafair, his 1930s crescent-shaped mansion in Newport, Rhode Island..

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