British Embassy

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3100 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

In Advise and Consent:

“At Her Majesty’s Embassy out Massachusetts Avenue and at the French Embassy on Belmont Road, the nomination was also of some interest. Lord Maudulayne, pausing in a busy day to take a call from Kitty in New York, was advised that she had talked to Senator Fry, “and he sounds dreadfully amused about Bob Leffingwell.” Senator Wannamaker, though, she reported, did not, and it was likely there would be quite a fuss in the Senate about it, she gathered. She would be flying in with Celestine Barre at four thirty, and would he be good enough to call Raoul Barre at the French Embassy and tell him so?  Page i139

In Real Life:

In Advise and Consent, Allen Drury wrote the British Embassy was on Massachusetts Avenue. And it still is. In fact, the British Embassy was one of the first to throw up an Embassy on what was known as Millionaire’s Row.  The British built the Ambassador’s residence in 1928. It was designed to look like a British manor house – and a chancery. But by the 1950’s the chancery seemed to be bursting at the seams so the embassy began the construction of a new one. When Drury was writing wrote Advise and Consent the construction of a new bigger chancery was underway.  And the neighborhood had changed since the British opened the embassy. When the Great Depression hit – the wealthy on Millionaires Row offloaded their big houses. The upkeep of the mansions was so great only entire countries or big organizations could afford them. So the row got the new name – Embassy Row. Now ?? embassies dot the street.

I parked my car on Massachusetts Avenue and walked up the row enjoying the embassies along the way. It was a weekday morning and Washingtonians were rushing to work – zipping by me. I spotted the British Embassy by the flag embedded in the front lawn – and I walked up the slight hill past it to the guard gate. I don’t know what I was expecting – maybe I thought I could get in or something. The guard asked if I had an appointment. I said no – but – could he tell me if there were any tours today. He said no tours.  I wanted to ask if Lord Maudulayne was in but thought better of it. And then he told me – in an accent that had a little British hint to it –  to step back onto the sidewalk.  I walked away wishing I had planned a little better. I turned around and snapped off some pictures – just to show him I hadn’t given up – and wondered if he was going to come and get me.  He didn’t.

So I didn’t get in but if you want to see inside you can watch this mildly bizarre video.  The best thing I learned from it was you can get into the embassy on a day in May – when many embassies are open for tours Embassy Row.  for tours.

Millionaires’ Row

The neighborhood of Massachusetts Avenue, which is now called Embassy Row, is a premier address of many prominent families in the 19th and 20th centuries. Huge mansions with many rooms were built by Washington’s political and social elites.

The Great Depression caused many homeowners in the area to sell their homes. Because they are huge residences with multiple rooms, they became ideal to be used as lodges for various social clubs and embassies. But not all embassies in Embassy Row used the previous mansions.

The United Kingdom built their own British Embassy in 1925, followed by the construction in 1930 of the Japanese Embassy. In the 1940s and early 1950s several chanceries and embassies moved to the area.

Some of the mansions that previously stood in other areas between Dupont Circle and Scott Circle were replaced with apartment and large office buildings. The neighborhood is now often referred to as Think Tank Row because of the number of think tanks that relocated there.

Related Post: 5 Reasons to Pur

The Great Depression caused many homeowners in the area to sell their homes. Because they are huge residences with multiple rooms, they became ideal to be used as lodges for various social clubs and embassies. But not all embassies in Embassy Row used the previous mansions.

The United Kingdom built their own British Embassy in 1925, followed by the construction in 1930 of the Japanese Embassy. In the 1940s and early 1950s several chanceries and embassies moved to the area.

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