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The Washington times. (Washington [D.C.]) 1901-1902, June 29, 1902, Editorials The Drama and Society, Image 17

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87062245/1902-06-29/ed-1/seq-17/

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Section Two
The Madison House
The Tayloe Mansion
National Capital s at last to
THE a realization of Its long-de-
X ferred hopes for an enlargement
of the White House Al
though the improvements that are
to be made are not as comprehensive
as were hoped for the overcrowded con
dition of the Executive Mansion be
considerably relieved temporarily at
least and President Roosevelt will have
Jin opportunity to turn around in bis
quarters without colliding with count
less clerlts and more or les3 Important
isltors huddled together Into so many
cubic inches of space
For a number of years fond dreams
have been cherished by many persons of
Eccuring an entirely new White House
lrom the ground up And now though
these hopes have been shattered for the
time being at any rate all Washington
Is rejoicing over tbe fact that even
temporary meatures have been taken to
provide the President with larger and
less crowded offices apart from his resi
These new quarters were finally decid
ed upon during the past -neck by Secre
tary Cortclyou who announced that un
til the new office building adjoining the
west end of the White llcusc Is com
pleted the Presidents office will be at
tbe Tonnsend residence 22 Jackson
Place opposite the west front of La
fayettf Square The property has been
leased for four months
Not a great deal of tho White House
furniture was moied to the new place
as the building was already well fur
nished In fact most of the bedroom
and parlor furniture of the Executhe
Mansion did not go near the temporary
headquarters of President Roosevelt but
has been placed In storage pending tbe
tompletlon of the permanent btructurc
The President will occupy as bis work-
ins rooms tbe apartments on tbe first
ltdriT f tl i
Sumner House
lira1 iM
floor of the Townsend residence which
Is one of the most handsomely appointed
houses in the city The ancient mahog
any cabinet table around which so
many Presidents lune sat with ttielr
Cabinet adisers and others has been
moed and placed in the largo dining
room of the IaMyclte Square house
This dining room Is to be President
Rooseclts offlce and the Cabinet room
The adjoining apartment will be de
moted to Secretary Cortclyou and usid
by him as his oHicc Here all callers
to be admitted to the President will be
escorted Tills room Is the one that
was formerly known as the second par
lor In the Townsend residence The
first parlor facin on the open square
has been set apart as the general re
ception room for allers Here also will
be located the newspaper men This en
tire first floor aes accommodations
about the same as In the White House
The second and third floors of the build
ing both splendidly furnished will be
devoted to the living apartments of the
President and tut executhe offices Two
other floors the basement and fourth
floor are to be used for general pur
poses and for storage
The Townsend rcsldenco as thor
oughly coered with a burglar alarm
Hybtera but this will scarcely conic In
for anv practical jse under the constant
surveillance of police officers and Secret
Sen Ice men Tic house Is strongly
guarded by policemen and there will be
a detail of officers at the building con
tinually from noir on
Famous residence Place
I afajetle Square while located prac
tically In the business section of Wash
ington has ever lxcn sacredly presorted
as a rcsldenco place and the houses
which border It have In jears past
He utadlrinatott fRiiiei
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The Temporary White House
if II 11m 1 1
Lafayette Square Long Famous for Its Historic Associations Around
It Have Been the Homes of the Great Statesmen and the Heroes of
the Army and Navy The Most Prominent Residence Place Today
housed scores cf thi men who havo
made the history of the nation and
within their walls events have transpired
which have left their imprints upon the
pjges of history and upon tbe memories
cf some of the countrys greatest
statesmen Jurists and warriors
The temporary White House itself Is
not without some claim to memories
which twine about the old houses around
It The house was occupied jears ago
by the late Representatle William L
Scott a millionaire business man of
Erie In the Keystone Statei After that
It was tbe residence of Mr Scott Town
send until ths erection of her magni
ficent residence on Massachusetts Ave
nue During Mrs Townsends occupan
cy of the residence It was enlarged and
extensively Improved The dining room
which was added at that time and
which Is now to be the private office of
the President Is regarded as one of the
finest of any In the many notable resi
dences of Washington
Lafayette Square fronting as It does
upon tbe White House grounds Is the
most perfect of the smaller parks that
dot the Capital City In the latter part
of the eighteenth century It was de
signed by the Father of bis Country to
bear the name of I afayette In honor of
the brave and gallant young Trench no
bleman who came to lend his arm and
fortuno in the cause of American Inde
pendence Rut it was not until after
the second war with Great Rrltain that
It took on the semblance of a park Prior
to that It was merely a parade ground
for the gold laced veterans of the wars
of 7C and 1812 to show themselves to
tbe dames and belles for which Wash
ington was famous Ever since the first
house was erected around It It has been
the dwelling place of the great men of
every stage of the nations history
Several of the renowned old heroes of
the war of 1812 built homes facing this
noted park
Old Decatur House
One of the most famous of these resi
dences was that built by the bluff old
naval commander Stephen Decatur the
daring fighter who taught the pirates of
the Iiarbaty States to respect the powers
of the yuung Republic of the Western
World So successful was he In the
natal warfare on the northern coast of
Africa so rich In prizes and captured
trophies that upon his return to tills
city be was able to build tbe house that
now stands on the corner of Lafayette
Square and II Street facing the square
on tho west side It is a long rambling
old place running baik along H Street
Its ery exterior appearance speaks In
silent tones of the grand old memories
that hoter about tbe place the brilliant
scenes that ha e transpired within Its
walls In other days In the commodores
cruises upon many seas and tlslts to all
lands he gathered a raro and priceless
collection of und curios
many the gifts of crowned heads of
foreign countries These the old fighter
brought home to Washington converting
his mansion Into a perfect museum of
quaint and costly articles from ail parts
of the globe
It was from thU place that he went
forth to fight the duel with Rarron and
to It he was brought back to die It has
been the home of many noted persons
among whom were Henry Clay Martin
Van Ruren several foreign ministers
and later by the Livingstons It was
charming Mmr Moreau of Xew Orleans
who married Edward Livingston Jack
sons Secretary of State and tliHr
daughter Cora who once more queened
the old mansion and made It one of the
centers of the social life of the nation
From Mrs Livingston and her daugh
ter during their residence In the old
Decatur home President Jackson Old
Hickory would alone accept the least
suggestions regarding his rather crude
Ideas of social etiquette
The Decatur house was until a few
months ago the resl lence of the widow
of Gen E V Reale whose daughter
married a titled Englishman and became
a bello In the social world of the English
Where Sickles Lived
Further along on the same side of the
park on the corner of the alley Is the
old Ewcll place Ewell Its owner was
a surgeon In the United States navy
The most notable lesldents cf this old
home were the grandfather of the Vir
ginia writer Amelli Rives whose novel
The Quick or the Dead created such
a sensation some rarj ago and Mrs
wife of Admiral Ludlow and
sister of Admiral Deweys wife Mrs
Is at prerent owner Gen Dan
iel Sickels of New York occupied the
old home at one time and It was while
living here that the tragedy occurred
which cast a shadow over his whole life
Fhlllp Key a descendant of the man
who wrote The Star Spangled Ban
ner was a gay btcbelor when General
Sickles with his beautiful oung wife
came to reside in Washington It was
the boast of Key that no woman could
resist his charm of manner If he chose
to exert it That he did exert It his
own tnling off tells most forcibly
His charm actually proved as ho had
predlctid so Irresistible that a few
mornings after tho famous ball given
by General and Mrs Sickles the general
crossed tbe park and met Key coming
out of tbe Washington Club that stood
on the site of the Iafaycttc Square
Opera House drew his pistol and shot
him dead
The Rogers House
The Rogers liouso afterward known
as the Blaine residence which also oc
cupied a portion of the site of the La
fajettc Opera Hols was built by
another distinguished naval officer Com
modore Rogers The navy was well to
the fore In tbe settlement or buIIJins up
of the blocks facing the square The
Rogers place was of red brick three
and a half stories Wgh with the cus
tomary colonial chimneys at either end
It was plain and vould never have at
tracted attention ave for the distin
guished men who at various times made
their homes then- and the terrible
tragedies that have darkened the lives
of some of Its Innates
Early in Its history it was thi place
where guests were entertained for value
received At tlmesi It claimed the dis
tinction of housing such boarders as
John Adams then a future President
and those two mental and political
giants Calhoun and Clay Daniel Web
ster probably wont there many times
and perhaps It was within the walls of
this very house that he and Clay talked
over the Intricacies of the great compro
mise bill
The first gloom to shadow- the house
was the hanging of oung Spencer son
of John C Spencer Tylers Secretary of
War whose family occupied the house
Srencer was a naval cadet and for a
very grave misdemeanor paid the penal
ty of his life
It was also In this house that the at
tempt was made upon the life of Secre
tary of State Seward when President
Lincoln was assassinated The last oc
cupant of the house was the brilliant
but deeply disappointed man James G
The Tayloe Mansion
Adjoining the bouse where siuuu ic
old Rogers place Is the quaint old Tay
loe house The structure was designed
after the colonial style and still clings
to the colonial yellow- and white piint
It was built by a member of tbe Taylo
family who also built several other fine
bouses In and around old Washington
In this plain edifice was born that beau
tlful girl who married Louis Hammers
ley later became the Dowager Duchess
of Marlborough and Is now Lady Reres
ford The son of John Paulding tbe
voting revolutionary soldier who cap
tured Andre returning from his confer
ence with the Traitor Arnold was also
an occupant of this house Among the
noted men of our day whom It can claim
as Its tenants are the late Vice Presi
dent Hobart and Senator Mark A Han
na the latter being Its present occupant
On the corner of H Street and Vermont
Avenue Is the Sumner house It Is a
square red brick building now used as
an annex of the Arlington Hotel
The large mansion the next door to the
west of the Sumner residence was tbe
official home af the Ililtish legation for
a number -of vears until the purchase
of the embassy site at the corner of Con
necticut Avenue and N Street During
til residence of the British legation iu
Editorials Te Drama
and Society
mi rw
hL1 I I m
Hay Residence
Decatur House
Sickles Mansion
the old house facing Lafayette Square
Sir Henry Lytton Bulwcr was Englands
representative In Washington
The fine looking old residence adjoin
ing the Corcoran house on the cast was
the home of still another naval hero
Commodore Richard Stockton an ances
tor of the late celebrated humorous
writer Frank Stockton Slldell of the
Southern Confederacy was once one of
Its residents The present tenant of the
mansion Is Representative Nevvlands of
Dolly Madisons Home
But the house of all others In that lo
cality which rivets attention and historic
Interest upon Itself Is the gray stone
stuccoed dwelling that stands at the cor
ner of H Street and Madison Place diag
onally across from the Arlington Hotel
amuW It was the home of Madison
after two terms in the White House had
expired and In It Dolly Madison contin
ued her reign as the queen of society
Although the Madlsons llvd In several
different homes while In Washington it
is this one that seems to have Inherited
the greater portion of the gracious hospitality-
of manner that makes Dolly
Madison remembered as the most bril
liant and fascinating of all the ladles
who havo resided in tho White House
The Madison home has had mrny tenants
celebrated In history but It is as the
home of that charming woman Mrs
Madison that Americans of today cling
vsr rs
sy1 1
most strongly to Its memory There Is
some subtle poetic romance about tha
Place that lends to it an undying charm
Although the place is now the property
of the Cosmos Club there still twins
about the quaint old structure memories
of the past and visitors turn their eyes
longingly upon It as though they half ex
pect to behold the figure of the mlstres3
of the Executive Mansion in days long
gone standing in the doorway
You nuv break jou may shatter the vase if
you will
Rut the scent of the roes will clin round it
A bronze tablet over the door an
nounces to the passer by that It was
built in 1323 and that it was the home of
Dolly Madison
The Corcoran House
Another of the famous old houses that
border Lafajctte Square is the stately
old mansion on the corner of II Street
and Connecticut Avenue where that
grand philanthropist W W Corcoran
resided for so many years Although it
cannot strictly be classed among the old
houses It is nevertheless so filled and
surrounded with interesting events as
the home of the man who has left so
many monuments of his goodness to this
and future generations that it can well
claim a place alcnj with other cele
brated houses In its locality Here
dwelt Daniel Webster the expounder
and defender of the Constitution It is
now the homo of Senator Chauncey JI

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