Embassy Building No. 10
Backstory and Context
In 1928, Mrs. Mary Henderson, a real estate developer and wife of Senator John Henderson, wanted to build a mansion for herself close to her other properties in Meridian Hill-Mt. Pleasant, both out of personal interest and in order to help bring the housing market up around her other properties. In working to create the house, Mary hired famed architect George Oakley Totten, Jr., to design a mansion for her. Henderson herself tended to and oversaw construction on the home beginning in 1929, and she finished construction on it in 1930. However, Henderson died only a year later in 1931, and the house was left without an occupant.
At some point after Mary Henderson’s death, the building was made to be a boarding house and a home. It did not remain in use for this purpose for long, however, as the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation purchased the home in 1942. Upon their purchase of the building, the Department reworked the building in order to make it into office space to house the Department’s headquarters. Since then, it was re-named the Embassy Building No. 10 and has served as the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation’s headquarters up to the present. On November 6th, 1986, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.