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First Floor Parlor Fireplace, Decatur House

This photograph of a fireplace in one of the first-floor parlors of Decatur House was taken by Bruce White on December 8, 2017. The room is furnished with a selection of comfortable period reproductions and pieces from the Decatur House Collection and the first-floor parlors are now used as a special meeting and reception space by the White House Historical Association. Decorative arts objects from the collection on display in this photograph are Stephen Decaturs 1812 presentation sword and one of a pair of figural candelabra owned by Marie Ogle Beale. Completed in 1818, Decatur House was the third building on Lafayette Square and its first private residence. It was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect of the Capitol and several other famous buildings, for Commodore Stephen Decatur (1779-1820) and his wife, Susan Wheeler Decatur. Tragically, on March 22, 1820 Stephen Decatur was mortally wounded during a duel. After his death, his widow Susan Decatur rented out the house to foreign ministers and several secretaries of state. The house was eventually sold and passed through several hands, including the Gadsby family, the U.S. Subsistence Bureau, and the Beale family. Marie Ogle Beale, a society maven and the last owner left the house to National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into a co-stewardship arrangement of Decatur House.
Bruce White
Date of Work
Decemeber 7, 2017
White House Historical Association