McCormick Apartments

The McCormick Apartments is most notable for one of its tenants, Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon.

The McCormick Apartments is a landmark apartment building on Embassy Row whose inhabitants once included Andrew W. Mellon. It consists of four stories, a mansard, and a raised basement. The top-floor apartment commemorates Andrew Mellon's national significance. Mellon lived on the top floor from 1922 to 1932 while serving as the Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, and he continued to occupy it intermittently until his death in 1937. Here he planned the National Gallery of Art and assembled the collection of artworks that he gave the Federal Government for display in the gallery. Mellon is remembered as Secretary of the Treasury for his financial program, dubbed the "Mellon Plan," which stimulated the economic boom of the 1920s.

At the time that Mellon moved into the McCormick Apartments, the building was about five years old. Around 1915, Stanley McCormick, a businessman who had purchased a large single-family house on this corner lot in 1906, decided to raze that dwelling and erect a luxury apartment building, one of Washington's first. McCormick commissioned French-born architect Jules Henri de Sibour to plan the apartment, and de Sibour designed a five-sided, semidetached edifice that was well suited to its trapezoidal site. Inside, the first floor was divided into two apartments. Each remaining floor held one apartment, and servants' sleeping quarters occupied mezzanine levels. Rentals began in 1917, and in addition to Mellon, at various times, such illustrious figures as Robert Wood Bliss and Pearl Mesta occupied the building.

DC Inventory: November 8, 1964
National Register: April 3, 1973
National Historic Landmark: May 11, 1976

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1785 Massachusetts Avenue, NW