Painted pink at sometime in its history according to a 1940 newspaper article, this Venetian Late Gothic Revival building was designed by George Oakley Totten and built in 1905. This building joins many others in their connection to Mrs. Henderson and her desire to beautify Sixteenth Street as an entryway to the capital from the north. This residence is associated with Secretary of Commerce and Labor, Oscar Straus, the first Jewish Cabinet member. Additionally, it was the long-time residence of Mrs. Marshall Field, a patron of the arts in Washington and widow of the Chicago merchandizing magnate. The Inter-American Defense Board was associated with this property for many years as well.
The main four-story block of the house and what was originally a two-story portion to its west (now three stories) date to 1905. This original, small two-story section to the west (visible from Euclid Street) was raised to three stories in 1927. The two-story addition to the north (seen from 16th Street) dates to 1912. The large Postmodern-style rear addition, attached to the main block by two smaller blocks on the north elevation, was designed by Frank Koppel in 1988.
Pink Palace has brick walls (faced with smooth stucco) and a marble basement and trim. The pitched roof of the main block of the house is covered in red Spanish tile. An attic projects above the tile roof and is topped by a galvanized iron balustrade. The flat roof of the 1988 addition is concrete. The structure has five chimneys. The house's Mediterranean character is derived from Totten's adaptation of the Venetian Late Gothic style.
DC designation: November 8, 1964
National Register listing: August 5, 1991