A Trip Back to Another Era

from Wikipedia

I’m lucky that my husband’s alumni association organizes interesting events in the Washington, DC, area. Of course, those activities were suspended during the worst of the pandemic. But we’re back in the thick of it again. Last month we got to visit the Edward Hamlin Everett house, which has been the residence of the Turkish ambassador since 1934. (After renting for several years, they bought the property.)


The mansion was built between 1910 and 1915 for Edward Hamlin Everett, who owned a bottling company that merged with Corning to become Owens Corning, so we’re talking serious money here

The architect was George Oakley Totten Jr., one of the area’s most sought after architects. At first the house was Everett’s winter residence.


The interior was designed in the Beaux-Arts style but included Turkish influences even before being occupied by the Turks. The architect had spent time in Turkey as the chief architect of an Ottoman sultan. By the way, you may not realize it, but Turkey as changed it’s name to Türkiye. I wonder if it’s going to catch on.)

There’s are a lot of fabulous decorative details inside the house. Here, for example, is the bannister along the grand staircase leading from the reception hall up to the living area.


And here is the inlaid floor at the edge of the reception area.


Above the stairwell is a rather weird painting.


I particularly liked this picture of Norman admiring the dining room.


He posed me standing between Erdoğan, the current Turkish president, and Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey,


I wish I’d taken a photo of the whole staircase. It’s a “waterfall staircase”, which means it flows out horizontally at the bottom. But unfortunately, the balustrade does not reach down to the wider part. While I was waiting for our ride home, I saw a woman coming down the stairs. When she reached the part where there was no railing, she edged over to the side and hung on to the wall. It was kind of amusing to watch–but it was exactly the way I came down the stairs. Neither she nor I wanted to fall down a couple of marble steps. I guess that even if you live in a custom-built mansion, there are going to be some design defects.


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About Rebecca York

NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.  She also writes the Unbound series for Changeling Press.  View website

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