Adams Morgan in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Mrs. Henderson's Legacy
Roads to Diversity
—Adams Morgan Heritage Trail —
Beginning in 1887, Mary Foote Henderson, wife of Missouri Senator John B. Henderson, created a new community here for the wealthy and powerful. She purchased much of this area and built herself a castle-like mansion on this side of 16th Street. After she failed to persuade the U.S. Government to move the White House here, she did persuade it to set aside land for Meridian Hill Park (also known as Malcolm X Park). She hired noted architects to design a series of elaborate mansions. The French, Spanish, Mexican, Cuban and Polish embassies moved in, and a number of embassies remain today.
After Mrs. Henderson’s death in 1931, her castle became apartments and later a noisy after-hours club. A sleepless neighbor, Washington Post publisher Eugene Meyer, bought the castle and eventually razed it, but left a momento: the brownstone walls of Beekman Place, ahead on the left.
Across the street is the Roosevelt, constructed in 1919 as a fine apartment-hotel.
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 1 of 18.)
Location. 38° 55.135′ N, 77° 2.196′ W. Marker is in Adams Morgan, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of 16th Avenue, NW and Florida Avenue, NW, on the right when traveling south on 16th Avenue, NW. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20009, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. James Buchanan (within shouting distance of this marker); A Gathering Place for Washingtonians (within shouting distance of this marker); Meridian Hill Park (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Prestige Address (about 500 feet away); Buchanan (about 600 feet away); Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park (about 700 feet away); Saint Augustine Roman Catholic Church (about 700 feet away); Pitts Motor Hotel (about 800 feet away).
Regarding Mrs. Henderson's Legacy. [Picture caption, upper left]:
Henderson Castle, flanked by the Meyer house, left, and Meridian Mansions (now the Envoy), right,
[Picture caption, upper right set]:
Mary Foote Henderson, left, Missouri Senator John Brooks Henderson, above, who introduced the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.
Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1946) of 2100 16th Street, one of Mrs. Henderson’s influential neighbors.
[Picture caption, middle right]:
The elegant public parlor of the Roosevelt, 1922.
[Picture caption, lower right]:
The beginnings of Beekman Place, which replaced Henderson Castle, 1976.
[Picture caption, lower left]:
Proposed Presidential Palace for Meridian Hill by Paul Pietz, 1900.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Adams Morgan Heritage Trail markers that have been entered in the Historical Marker database.
Also see . . .
1. Mary Foote Henderson. (Submitted on March 10, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Mary Henderson. "...it is Mary Henderson who lobbied Congress in support of the acquisition of the land and its development as a park." (Submitted on March 12, 2009.)
3. Adams Morgan Heritage Trail Map and Brochures. This self-guided walking tour the Adams Morgan Heritage Trail is the fifth in a series that invites you to discover what lies beyond the monuments: Washington’s (Submitted on March 12, 2009.)
Additional keywords. Gilded Age.
Categories. • Notable Persons • Notable Places • Politics • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on October 22, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 8, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,784 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 8, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 4. submitted on March 10, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.