With the continued growth of Georgetown’s residential footprint, the Henry McCleery House exemplifies the development of the neighborhood’s distinctive character. The house is believed to have been constructed around 1800 to 1801 with Adamesque elements throughout its interior. Henry McCleery purchased the lot from Thomas Beall, who owned major tracts of land in the area and sold them for residential development.
McCleery built the original home, but due to 30th Street being raised to match the canal roadway’s elevation, it was either re-built or renovated to match the new height. These changes were made by the home’s second owner, John Bowie, whose family lived in the house from 1816 to 1847. Bowie was a well-known shipping merchant, who began his own company, Bowie and Kurtz, in 1799. The company was internationally-known and grew exponentially throughout Bowie’s lifetime. His company’s success led him to joining the early Washington social elite developing at this time.
The house was bought and restored by its 1952 owner, Donald Shannon. Renovations included combining the first floor’s two rooms into one, with a new kitchen, and the third floor separated into bedrooms.
DC Inventory: January 23, 1973
Within Georgetown Historic District