Friday, May 25, 2012

The Thomas F. Walsh Residence

 The Thomas F. Walsh residence designed by Henry Andersen c. 1903 at 2020 Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C.  Walsh, an Irish immigrant, was proprietor of the Camp Bird gold mine in Colorado, one of the most valuable gold mines in the country.  Walsh's daughter Evelyn Walsh McLean inherited the house following the deaths of her parents but spent most of her time at her husband Edward B. McLean's family estate 'Friendship'.  Evelyn was the last private owner of the Hope Diamond, given to her by her father as a wedding present.  During the 1930s and 40s the house was occupied by various government organizations and since 1951 has been the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia.  Click HERE for more on the Walsh residence and HERE to see it on google street view.


The Ancient said...

From the embassy's website:

"Records show that [Walsh] purchased the site of the future Embassy on April 30, 1901 and hired architect Henry Andersen of New York to draw up plans. Construction on the mansion began soon thereafter and the Walsh family moved in during the fall of 1903. In total, the mansion cost $853,000."

And today's link --

(In 1905, Walsh's 17-year-old son dies in a Newport car crash. Many familiar names.)

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I toured this embassy a few years ago -it's amazing inside. I have pics at my blog if you're interested of the interiors.

The Down East Dilettante said...

This is a perfect 'F-you, I made a gazillion dollars and I'm gonna show it' house.

And I have pictures of the McLean summer home in Bar Harbor, given her by her father Senator Walsh, including the one they didn't build, over at my blog:

Ann said...

I posted recently about having read Evalyn's book. It is fantastic, you might enjoy it as a beach read. I was just in Ouray (the CO town nearest the Walsh's Camp Bird Mine but near Telluride, CO) and there is a wonderful book shop with local history books. Lots about the Walsh family! :)

Ann said...

Oh here is the post on Ouray if you are interested in their more humble beginnings -

The Down East Dilettante said...

Ann, I also read Mrs. McLean's book. I liked it also---surprisingly clear eyed hindsight, and good storyteller