One of the oldest and most fascinating homes in Washington, DC, is back on the campaign trail. Built in 1754 and known as the Lindens, this mansion is marketed as “one of the most important and historic homes in America” and has returned to the market with a list price of $8.75 million—$1.75 million less than when it was offered last year. Historic bargain!
So what makes this Georgian masterpiece such an awesome snapshot of American real estate? We’ve got 15 reasons…
1. Built in … Massachusetts?
The mansion was originally built in Danvers, MA. Falling apart after years of neglect, the grand home faced demolition in the 1930s, but was bought for about $12,500 by George M. and Miriam Morris, a Washington lawyer and his wife, during a nationwide search for an unusual and historic mansion. They disassembled the mansion and rebuilt it where it sits today.
2. The reconstruction
The mansion took almost three years to reconstruct and had to be expanded by 5 feet to accommodate modern plumbing.
3. Visitors welcome
After the home was rebuilt in the 1930s, the Morrises welcomed visitors with Colonial-era role-playing. Hostesses dressed in hooped skirts and served early American recipes, while modern touches—including telephones and radios—were camouflaged by furniture and book spines. They continued this for 45 years, hosting about 50,000 visitors, including first ladies and ambassadors.
4. Awesome antiques
The Morrises were avid antiques collectors, and after they died in 1982, their furnishings were auctioned off at Christie’s. The auction netted $2.3 million.
5. Secret staircase
There’s a secret staircase off the main level. It used to lead to an oversize wine cellar, but Miriam replaced it with an 18th-century dance hall. Now, the property listing says the secret stairs lead to a downstairs area with a movie theater, spa, and tavern room.
6. Natural name
The house is known as the Lindens because of the numerous linden trees on the property’s original location.
7. Closest competition
The mansion is the oldest house in the District of Columbia. The second-oldest is the Old Stone House, which was built in 1795.
8. Warmth aplenty
The home has an amazing 11 fireplaces.
9. One big bill
Taxes in 2015 cost $55,574.
10. The measure of a mansion
The mansion is 8,250 square feet and has six bedrooms and seven full bathrooms.
11. Original commission
12. Shots fired
Hooper was a British sympathizer and loaned out his mansion for several months to Thomas Gage, who was a despised British general and governor of Massachusetts. Hooper eventually had to flee to Britain—someone took a musket shot at the shipping mogul, but hit the front door. The front door has since been replaced.
13. Owners aplenty
In 1983, a wealthy couple bought the home from the Morris family for $1.2 million. It last sold in 2007 for $7.2 million to the retired owner of an $8 billion hedge fund.
14. Fabulous furnishings
The first floor has a reception hall which is packed with antiques and expensive furnishings, including an eight-paneled solid wood door, French wall coverings, and a crystal-and-brass chandelier.
15. Inspect the place
It’s being sold as is. So, who wants to own a piece of history?
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