Housing Complex

Everything for Sale at The Mansion on O Street

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The Mansion on O Street: three rowhouses in one.

This week, everything is for sale at the Mansion on O Street, with two exceptions: The Mansion will not relinquish guitars signed by EmmyLou Harris and Bob Dylan, "or any of the gibson guitars that were donated for our guests to use," says Mansion creator H.H. Leonards.

"They were gifts of artists who stay here," says Leonards. And the Gibson guitars "are part of the museum collection."

But visitors can grab the rest, including:  A carved wooden bear lamp, a giant red fork/spoon set, a table with an embedded monopoly board, and thousands of framed collages, photographs, paintings, drawings etc.

If you haven't heard of the Mansion on O Street, it's time you did. Every few years, Washington D.C. should receive a formal reintroduction to this quiet landmark.

Sure, the Mansion opened nearly 30 years ago, and it sits roughly a block and a half from Dupont Circle. And yes, City Paper and other publications have been describing its exhilaratingly bizarre decor and "mishmash of ventures" for years. (The place bills itself as a hotel, museum, event venue—and not to be cliched but—so much more!)

But I remained ignorant of these facts until this Sunday— So for all those unfamiliar with the log cabin room, let's do some catch-up:

Here are a few reasons to visit the Mansion (which, as I mention above, is composed of three rowhouses combined into one):

  • Like I said, there's a log cabin-themed room:
  • MansionOlogcabin

  • Oh, and the log cabin-themed room happens to be a log-cabin themed loft. Here's the upstairs:

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  • There's a wooden jacuzzi.
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  • And other stuff—soooo much other stuff.

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I'll post more pictures later. But the Mansion is best experienced room by room, in person. The Mansion on O Street is located at 2020 O Street NW. The sale lasts from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through tomorrow.

Images by Paul Selker and Ruth Samuelson

  • Enzo Fargione

    When I first learned about the Mansion on O street I was very excited.
    I have heard stories about its guests and its owners of mythical proportions.
    In my short three months tenure there as an employee I had the privilege to meet great people and wonderful guests whose names live in everyone's household and who are very very popular.
    The team that brings all of this together is H.or better know as Sally the private party coordinator. An older woman who was able to fool a lot of people over 30 years and her husband Ted Spero a very nice man who unfortunately has been brain washed by the evil lies of her now wife.
    H at the time was known by us employees as "the devil" a woman with no respect for anyone and able to screw up a cup of coffee. A liar, and boy she lied.........she still does.....
    She lied to us employees every single day, straight in our face looking in our eyes even when both parties knew the truth. A woman with no principles no respect with the only drive of screwing her guests and employees for the only purpose of money, power and greed
    Her legendary lies nowaday make me laugh: I remember how she insisted repeatetly to convince us how she come up with the coin phrase for Nike marketing program "Just Do It" just to mention one.....or how many advices she gave the Beatles while writing their lyrics......how heads of states would go to her for political advise.......Please!!!!!! Did she think we were all stupid or clueless?
    I do wish for her to come back down to Earth one day, make peace with herself, stop treat people like garbage, start to respect other and why not ? even herself.
    HH Leonard you are a big FAKE......always were and always will. Shame on you woman!! And take care of your personal hygene....you were never good at that either. Good luck to you screwing your next guests, after all that is all you are good at!!!

  • Icarus

    uh, dude, didn't you sign a confidentiality agreement when you started working there? You may want to erase this post --to be honest, I find the Mansion to be culty and therefore hilarious. I once met a bartender there who claimed to be studying intelligent design. You cannot get any more real than that

  • ks

    um, isn't everything for sale at the mansion 100% of the time? this isn't news.

  • kodak

    Icarus: Any half-way decent lawyer will tell you confidentiality agreements are virtually unenforceable. Other laws about trade secrets or industrial espionage may be enforceable but clearly none of the things said in Enzo's reply are revelations of such trademarked information. Personal opinions which Enzo is clearly expressing are protected by at-will employment laws and freedom of expression rights.

  • Enzo Fargione

    After a bad night of sleep I have decided to write this new post for two reasons:
    1- The post I wrote yesterday did not settle well with me
    2- I feel I was a little too forward while expressing my personal feelings about my short lived experience at the Mansion on O street

    I am a professional and I should have not let my feelings get out in such unprofessional way. I guess I needed to make peace with myself and find some closure
    I regret for been so forward and so open in my comments and I do hope the best for H and Ted in a professional way.
    What and how they decide to talk to people and respect them or not it is not my problem anymore nor my business and they are free to make up any stories they like if they feel compelled to do so.....as they wish.
    I have asked this morning Citypaper to take down my original post, thinking It would have been a better move, but they are telling me it is not possible. So I decide to write this in order to correct the situation.
    Now that I have made peace with myself I feel much better as I have never disrespected anyone in my life and I do not intent to start now.
    Good luck to the Mansion on O and I wish for it a prosperous life

  • Icarus

    Kodak: Thank you for the info! Enzo: Get over it, the Mansion will always be weird! I worked there for a month, and after witnessing an incident involving another member of the staff, I never went back to work. While I did have some very baroque nightmares for a couple of months after that, (I eventually decided that the bad dreams were being conjured by the staff in night seances after hours), I never had any problems from them when I went back to buy stuff or bring friends to show them the place -- in fact they will usually act as if they don't know you at all. You are safe.

  • Enzo Fargione

    Icarus, thanks, but it is not matter of safety. For sure I am not worried at all.
    I sleep very good nights at home and with a smile on my face.I treasure the value of people's work and their dedications, mostly I respect them
    It is just not me attacking or criticizing people openly like I did.
    The only bad night I had was because my excessive first post
    They are not going to keep me up at night
    They are not worth my time
    They have bigger problems then me to worry about: I remember them saying they could hardly get a good night sleep at the Mansion regardless which room they would choose to sleep in that night......is that a coincidence?
    Recently a respected and large publication asked me to release a detailed interview about what's going on in there as they think it could be of public interest for the readers, but I have declined.
    Unlike them I have morals and respect for others.
    Maybe it's them who might not be safe if I change my mind as my word is backed up by others and ex employees willing to come forward as we all keep in touch still

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  • J Lo

    There is an ad on Craig's list for a job at the Mansion. I am a student in Hospitality Manangement. I thought it might be a good opportunity but after reading the 4 page confidentiality statement and her bio I have come to the conclusion that this lady is crazy. Storm the Bastille! Why people will put up with being treated like a peasant for a paycheck is beyond me.

  • Jennifer

    I'm writing this more than 2 years after the original post, but I just had to respond.

    Way back in olden times (the 90's) my bff introduced me to H. and the mansion. He was an extraordinary man of enormous wit, kindness and generosity. My friend had a major crush on H. Not romantically perhaps, but as an artist and creator. He was a member of the club and he delighted in showing me every room in the mansion over several visits.

    My friend made no secret of his admiration for H., and in return she treated him with thinly veiled contempt. She was arrogant, cold and in my opinion, completely vile. I wasn't all that impressed with her design artistry either, but my friend was so taken with it that I went along.

    Not long after our last visit to the mansion, my friend died suddenly and tragically leaving a wife and two small children. I have never forgiven H. for the way she treated this wonderful man. That she treats her employees no better is no surprise.

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