Washington socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean obviously knew a treasure when she saw one. In addition to once owning this historic 7,715-square-feet gem, she was the last private owner of the Hope Diamond.
Located in Georgetown, Washington D.C., the totally reimagined mansion is a stunning mix of a 19th-century façade and a contemporary 21st-century interior designed by award-winning Shinberg Levinas Architects in 2006. Between an open and airy feel, marble flooring, and soaring ceilings in the gallery and living area, the home is ideal for entertaining dignitaries in the nation’s capitol city or a group of friends, family, or business associates.
Two-story double glass doors leading to the outdoor kitchen, sparkling pool area, lush courtyard, and sculpture garden also adds an alfresco component to any gathering or event.
Besides an entertainment system, cozy fireplace, and plenty of stylish flex space, other first floor features are a gourmet kitchen, butler’s pantry, and library. The formal dining area and most flexible living spaces include floor-to-ceiling glass with an abundance of natural light and beautiful foliage views of the nearly half-acre grounds.
On the second level, the spacious master suite includes a balcony with spectacular views of the Georgetown and Virginia skylines as well as a sitting area, walk-in closets, and an en-suite bath with a Jacuzzi tub. Four additional en-suite bedrooms can accommodate family members and guests.
About Evalyn Walsh McLean
Born in 1886 in Denver, Colorado, Evalyn Walsh McLean was the only surviving child of former schoolteacher Carrie Bell Reed and Irish immigrant Thomas Walsh, whose mining and prospecting efforts made him a multimillionaire.
In 1908, the heiress married Edward Beale (Ned) McLean, the son of John Roll McLean and heir to The Washington Post and The Cincinnati Enquirer publishing empire. Three years after the McLean nuptials, Ned met at The Washington Post offices with Pierre Cartier of Cartier Jewelers in New York and negotiated a deal to purchase the Hope Diamond for $189,000, which would equate to $4.84 million in today’s money.
Though Evalyn reportedly balked at any notion of the rumored Hope Diamond Curse, she did encounter a string of bad luck. Her oldest son was struck by an automobile and killed at age nine. Her husband ran off with another woman and ultimately died in a sanitarium. The Washington Post filed bankruptcy, and her daughter – who was the wife of a U.S. senator by then – died from a drug overdose.
As a socialite, Evalyn’s circle of friends ranged from Alice Roosevelt Longworth and First Lady Florence Harding to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy and Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.
After her much-publicized trip to Russia, Evalyn earned a permanent place in pop culture when Cole Porter penned these lines in his song Anything Goes: “When Mrs. Ned McLean (God bless her) / Can get Russian Reds to ‘yes’ her, / Then I suppose / Anything goes.”
Mark C. Lowham, Louis Cardenas, and Matt McCormick with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty represent this home. The list price is $14 million. Click here to see more photos.