This house is most notable as a mid nineteenth-century stylistically transitional house that combines the symmetrical massing of the first half of the nineteenth century with the picturesque, ornate, three-dimensional detailing that was popular from mid-century until nearly the end of the century. This detailing is most apparent in the exterior window hoods. In addition to these handsome details, the second story fanlight on the front and three-part rear window on the landing are excellent executions of the early twentieth-century Federal Revival Style. The historical significance of the Scott-Grant House derives from its New Deal occupants and the earlier rentals by Generals U.S. Grant and Henry Halleck. It is commonly accepted, but undocumented that Grant used the house as a summer White House (Grant's papers have not been edited through his presidency). During the New Deal, two of President Roosevelt's Brain Trust, Benjamin Cohen and Thomas Corcoran, rented the house for themselves and other young lawyers who drafted the New Deal legislation.
In the late nineteenth century, as Georgetown's merchants and shop-owners prospered, they moved from their Federal period row houses and an occasional free-standing house on the streets closest to the piers farther north to the heights of Georgetown. Many of the finest houses along Q and R Streets were built in the early nineteenth century and subsequently altered extensively in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. One exception is Tudor Place which retains its early nineteenth century original appearance. Another exception is the Scott-Grant House which is later than many of the other great houses in Georgetown Heights and one of the few of architectural significance for its mid nineteenth-century appearance. Perhaps dues to its unusual character, the Scott-Grant House is not discussed or at least not in detail in the standard histories of Georgetown. Also, unlike houses such as Dumbarton Oaks, Tudor Place, Evermay or Bowie-Sevier, its owners do not seem to have been important Georgetown citizens. Instead the Scott-Grant House was associated with nationally prominent men who rented the house, specifically Generals Halleck and Grant, and New Dealers Thomas Corcoran and Benjamin Cohen.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964