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Constructed for one of American’s most famous naval heroes, the Decatur House was completed in 1818. It’s one of the oldest surviving homes in Washington DC and one of three remaining residential buildings designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Visitors to the Decatur House can learn about the many residents who lived in the house, including Stephen Decatur and his wife Susan. Ironically, the couple spent only 14 months in their home—their residency ended when Stephen Decatur shockingly died after a duel in 1820.
Because of its prime location just across from the White House, the Decatur House was considered to be one of the capital’s most desirable addresses and home to many of our nation’s most prominent figures. The house’s last and most beloved resident, Marie Beale, is known for her tireless efforts to protect and preserve the historic home. She is credited with saving the Decatur House from being demolished and for having it listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
From Barons and Baronesses to Secretaries of State, Vice Presidents and even slaves, the Decatur House has a colorful, enthralling history that comes alive while visiting.