In 1928, Embassy Building No. 10 was designed by architect George Oakley Totten Jr. (1866-1939), which was built in the following years. The building was designed to incorporate both public and private domestic activities, as the building is one of many associated with Mary Foote Henderson (1841-1931), who commissioned Totten to construct many embassy buildings in order to establish Sixteenth Street as a fashionable and politically important area.
The building reflects the tail end of the development activity along Sixteenth Street that created a luxurious ambiance in the vicinity of Meridian Hill Park and Mt. Pleasant at the turn of the century. Embassy Building No. 10 is highly typical of Totten’s work, which has been characterized by a willingness to employ numerous styles and rich ornamentation. The façade of the building serves as a catalogue of features associated with the Renaissance Revival style.
Upon Henderson’s passing, the building stood vacant for some years. Since 1942, Embassy Building No. 10 has served as DC’s Department of Parks and Recreation headquarters.
DC Inventory: October 15, 1986
National Register: November 6, 1986