Built in 1801 by Philip Barton Key, the Federal-style Woodley Mansion is notable for its many brushes with figures instrumental in American history. Key, himself the uncle of "Star-Spangled Banner" author Francis Scott Key and a member of Congress, based the design for the house on Woodley Lodge in Reading, England.
Owing to its location in the calmer, wooded areas that surrounded the bustling downtown, Woodley Mansion was a desirable retreat from the noise and commotion of the rest of the city. President Martin Van Buren, upon assuming office in 1837, took to renting Woodley during the summers to escape the heat of DC, and Grover Cleveland, returning to office in 1893, did the same with a recently modernized Woodley. The last individual to own the mansion was Henry L. Stimson, best known for his work as Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Secretary of War during World War II. Upon his death, Stimson left the house to Phillips Academy, Andover, his own alma mater; Phillips Academy subsequently sold it to the Maret School in 1952.
Founded in the 1910s by Marthe, Louise, and Jeanne Maret, three French sisters who had taught internationally, the Maret School continues to occupy the Woodley Mansion today.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)