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OPULENCE & SPLENDOUR

Luxury and the arts From houses to cars and from Hockney to van Dyck, a profile of the best and the worst

Moving a mansion

Washington’s oldest house – which was originally located in Massachusetts – for sale

 

The Lindens in Washington’s Kalorama Heights is generally considered to be the oldest in the Capital Region but, in fact, it was originally built in 1754 in Danvers, Massachusetts by a wealthy shipping magnate named Robert ‘King’ Hopper.

 

Moving a mansion - The Lindens, 2401 Kalorama Road, Kalorama Heights, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Moving a mansion – The Lindens, 2401 Kalorama Road, Kalorama Heights, Washington, DC 20008, USA

 

Dismantled and moved to Washington by freight train between 1934 and 1936 after being purchased by George M. and Miriam Hubbard Morris for $10,000 (the equivalent of £122,000 or $177,000 today), collectors of Queen Anne and Chippendale furniture, The Lindens was used by the couple to entertain and was treated as “a home rather than a museum”. Lighting fixtures and phones were concealed and a radio was built into a false bookcase in the library to conceal its location and so fine was the quality of the workmanship, that the house was eventually “offered tout ensemble to the Smithsonian”. They sadly declined due to the lack of an accompanying endowment.

 

Following Miriam Hubbard Morris’ death, the property was sold for $1.3 million (the equivalent of £896,000 or $3.1 million today) and then marketed for a staggering £8.8 million ($12.75 million) in 2005. It eventually sold for just £4.9 million ($7.1 million) in 2007 to Kenneth Brody, the co-founder of £5.7 billion ($8.2 billion) hedge fund firm Taconic Capital Advisors.

 

Circa 10,250 square foot of accommodation is provided in the building over five levels and under its current ownership luxuries such as a spa and sauna, home theatre and a caterer’s kitchen have been added. The interior designer Mariette Himes Gomez has sensitively decorated the house and its qualities were lauded in a January 2014 Architectural Digest article.

 

Moving a mansion - The Lindens, 2401 Kalorama Road, Kalorama Heights, Washington, DC 20008, USA
The entrance hall and landing feature scenic wall coverings inspired by the French writer Jean-François Marmontel
Moving a mansion - The Lindens, 2401 Kalorama Road, Kalorama Heights, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Formal entertaining spaces dominate the ground floor
Moving a mansion - The Lindens, 2401 Kalorama Road, Kalorama Heights, Washington, DC 20008, USA
A room named ‘The Tavern’ is situated in the basement and is some 50 foot in length
Moving a mansion - The Lindens, 2401 Kalorama Road, Kalorama Heights, Washington, DC 20008, USA
The house’s prominent position at the junction of two roads might put off the more security conscious buyer

 

The Lindens is for sale through Washington Fine Properties at a price of £6 million ($8.75 million), reduced from £7.2 million ($10.5 million).

 

 

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Comments

2 comments on “Moving a mansion”

  1. Beautiful interior, it must be the most tastefully appointed house in the America. I love the combination of solid wooden flooring and traditional half height wallpaper (possibly mural) , truly stunning, and I like the boldness of the total contrast of the “Tavern”. Mr and Mrs Hubbard Morris must have been lovely people and fun to know.

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