2301 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
The residence was built (1907 – 1909) by Architect Glenn Browne for Washington socialites Joseph and Margaret Beale who were in the real estate business. They lived in the house between 1909 and 1917. It is one of three residences that Browne designed on Massachusetts Avenue together with the Dumbarton Buffalo Bridge.
In 1928 the Royal Government of Egypt bought it from Margaret Beale for the sum of $150,000 to serve as the residence of King Fouad I of Egypt during his official visit to the United States. As the visit never took place, the Government of Egypt decided that going forward the house would alternatively be used as the official residence of the head of the Egyptian diplomatic mission in Washington.
The residence has an unusual and elegant plan based upon circles and ovals that mirror the façade.
“The detached, stucco, and limestone residence, in the 18th century Roman revival manner, is significant for its plan, spatial composition, and use of detail and material. The pie-shaped site faces across the west end of Sheridan Circle and the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and R Street. This shape is reflected in the convex façade of the building and in its spatial sequences. The interior spaces on the
ground floor contract toward the public stair at the rear and on the first floor expand outward from the stair to the street façade. The remarkable interior plasterwork is a foil for the sobriety of the exterior treatment.”
– The Commission of Fine Arts
Massachusetts Avenue Architecture, Volume I, 1973.
A comprehensive restoration project aimed at modernizing the building took place from 1999 – 2002. It preserved the integrity of the residence while ensuring its longevity for years to come. The limestone and stucco of the existing facades were restored, and the carriage house and its courtyard renovated. Gold gilding was added to the ceilings and walls of the official quarters.
The residence is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a contributing property to the Massachusetts Avenue Historic District and Sheridan-Kalorama Historic District.