Monday, May 4, 2009

Clarence Moore House

The embassy of Uzbekistan has always intrigued me. Housed in a beautiful Beaux Arts style townhouse near where I live, the most interesting thing about it is the juxtoposition with its very modern neighbor. I have taken 100's of the two over the years!
The modern building next door - I love the old with the new!
Elevation of the mansion by the architect, Bruce Price.

Saturday I was able to tour the first floor and it was as beautiful as I could have wished. Original woodwork, lightfixtures, mouldings - a preservationist's dream come true! Built in 1909 for Clarence Moore by the architect Bruce Price of blonde brick and limestone 'dressing', the home soon became the embassy of Canada and housed this function until 1988. The entry hall. Not shown here are the beautiful black and white marble floorsI didn't miss out on photographing these AMAZING marble sconces lining the entry hall.These have to be original. Aren't they amazing?!Probably the most interesting sconces I've ever seen!
Ceiling detail in the entry hall. Exquisite plasterwork!At the rear of the LONG entry hall is the stair hall -seen above.This ancient fireplace stands at the foot of the stairs. You can see a glimpse of the marble floors.
Clarence Moore was a coal magnate from West Virginia who only lived in this DC house for 3 years; he sunk with the Titantic in 1912. His wife owned the house for years but rarely used it as she was never in DC after remarrying. She sold it to the Canadian Goverment in 1927 for $375,000 with an additional $100,000 for the furniture! What a fortune that was in the late 20s!
To the right of the entry hall are 2 small salons with delicate plasterwork. Between the 2 is a small hall and original powder room. Above the 1st salon contains textiles from Uzbekistan.

After the Canadian government vacated the premises for their new larger (and uglier) embassy on Pennsylvania Avenue, the government of Uzbekistan bought it in 1992. I have to give them credit that unlike many other countries, they have respected this great home and continue to preserve it.To the left of the entry hall is the large library, seen here.Library ceiling
Fireplace in the libraryTurkish couch in the library. I always thought these were so cozy!!
More on the mansion on Wikipedia.


Terry said...

I'm speechless. How to get invited to embassy tours? Next year maybe I can visit my brother in McLean do some of the tour. It makes me wonder what they tore down to build the newer buildings on either side.

ArchitectDesign said...

Terry, they hold these open houses every year by groups. Next weekend is the open house for the european union countries! That whole portion of embassy row has some really great buildings on it, but lots of things were obviously torn down to make way for bigger more institutional buildings. Up the street just a few blocks is the REAL embassy row with the insanely beautiful townhouses and mansions that people know.

Style Redux 2 said...

What stunning photography-it is wonderful inside and out!

The-Countrypolitan said...

What a beautiful building... I particularly like the fireplaces and the ceilings. You're right about the exterior of the building next to the modern structure, as opposites they compliment each it!

C.T. said...

Oooh...Oohhh....Ooohhhh....I want it all!! I'm speechless and almost hysteric ;-)
It's so beautiful!!!

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Very lovely house. It was used as a decorators' show house, between owners.

ArchitectDesign said...

The ceilings are probably the best part!
AAL, how do you know that?! LOL -you continually amaze me! I wish I could have seen it!

home before dark said...

I love the exterior juxtaposition of the horizontal line of the embassy with the grid of its modern neighbor. And the ceilings! They look like wedding cakes. As Tony Soprano said lamenting about the lack of artisans, " These days it's hard to find someone to do a good job of caulking your bathtub!" Amen to that.

pve design said...

How fortunate are we to have you there as our tour guide to point out all the amazing details. As a home owner, I appreciate these places that have been standing. Quality and craftsmanship are to be respected and admired. Thanks for the stunning photos.

M said...

I must agree with Patricia it's so much fun to have you as our personal tour guide showing us these Grand buildings.

katiedid said...

What a great tour! Thanks for sharing....the fireplace! The Ceilings! The Staircase....all beautiful.

AlwaysMe said...

Thank you so much for posting these beautiful photos! I love it all! Keep up the good work.