Exorbitant House of the Week, Future Embassy Edition
The NEMBYs won't like this one.
As I reported in my column last week, residents of the Kalorama neighborhood, north of Dupont Circle, have been pushing to prevent a certain type of neighbor from becoming more prevalent in their midst, rallying behind the cry: No Embassies in My Back Yard! Embassies—or, more specifically, chanceries, as opposed to ambassadors' residences—function like offices in a residential neighborhood, they say, and create problems that range from parking shortages to nighttime "dead zones." The city has proposed a zoning change that could make it harder for embassies to locate in residential neighborhoods. But for now, foreign missions can continue to flock to Kalorama, which is host to about a third of the city's chanceries.
And here's Exhibit A. Two adjacent buildings on S Street NW are on the market for a total of $22 million. For that price, a buyer gets nearly 27,000 square feet of interior space, with 10 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms, plus a big back garden. According to the listing, the property is "perfect for an embassy, school, discerning individual."
Perhaps there's a discerning billionaire with a very large family who's looking for a new home. Or perhaps there's a deep-pocketed school in need of expansion (or the city is mulling a tony alternative to draw students away from well-regarded but overcrowded Wilson High School). But realistically, this property—formerly the Textile Museum, and initially listed last June, before being pulled and then re-listed this spring—looks like a prime candidate for yet another neighborhood embassy.
Take a peek around. Does this look more like a family living room or an embassy conference room?
The garden has swanky embassy cocktail parties written all over it:
And for good measure, in case the property didn't look historic and august enough, the listing features a couple of black-and-white photos:
Photos courtesy of Point2 Homes