French Embassy

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4101 Reservoir Rd NW, Washington, DC 20007

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, the French Ambassador, Raoul Barre played a role that added perspective. He, along with the ambassadors from other countries, cautiously watched the goings-on surrounding the Robert A. Leffingwell nomination for Secretary of State. And Allen Drury has him doing that from the French Embassy on Belmont Road. I looked it up. I found this article which shows the French sold the embassy on Belmont after it moved into its new embassy on Reservoir Road in 1984.

I didn’t know all of that while I was having my phone navigate me to the French Embassy. I drove through what seemed like suburban Washington, D.C. Then I made a turn on Reservoir Road and spotted it on the right. It looked like something from a James Bond movie. A big black gate and then in the distance a white bunker type of building embedded into the hillside.   I parked and got out and walked up to the gate to take pictures. I had already learned from my visit along embassy row that no one cares if you take pictures of embassies. They see it all the time I guess. So from the street – on public property, I shot away.  When Raoul and Celestine Barre were running things they would not have come here – they would have been on Kalamara Road – but I looked for them anyway.

 

 

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