Barney Studio House (And Interiors)

While currently serving a diplomatic role as the Latvian Embassy, Studio House was once a space specifically designed for artistic expression and activism.

Constructed between 1902 and 1903, this semi-detached row house was the second to be built in Sheridan Circle and remains architecturally distinct from the neighboring Beaux-Arts mansions. Designed by Washington architect Waddy B. Wood in the Mission/Arts & Crafts style, the four story home is is clad in stucco, and includes large oak doors with handmade accents and a  terra cotta tile roof. The interior, which is historically designated, incorporates iron light fixtures, red clay tile, colorful mosaics, and exposed ceiling beams in the Mission/Arts & Crafts style.

The home was built for Alice Pike Barney, an artist, community activist, and cultural crusader for Washington society. Ms. Barney utilized Studio House to host meetings, parties, and fundraising events to improve the artistic and cultural life of Washington, D.C. In her home, she created art, produced theatrical productions, and developed connections between thespians, artists, writers, politicians, and diplomats to boost the artistic inclinations of the expanding city in the early 1900s.

By the mid-1920s, Alice Barney had left Washington for Hollywood, and attempted to sell the house with no avail. She deeded the property to her daughters, who ultimately donated it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1960 to be used as an arts and cultural center. The home remained in use by the museum system for many years, and currently houses the Latvian Embassy.

DC Inventory: December 15, 1994
National Register: April 27, 1995

Within the Massachusetts Avenue and Sheridan-Kalorama Historic Districts.




2306 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington D.C. 20008