Perry Belmont House (International Eastern Star Temple)

This grandiose and ornate house was designed for politician Perry Belmont by French architect Ernest Sanson.

One of the city's most grandiose houses, the Perry Belmont House is an ornate stone mansion built in 1909 in the Beaux Arts style. Designed by the fashionable French architect Ernest Sanson with Horace Trumbauer of Philadelphia overseeing the construction, the house is a significant example of a lavish city residence for the very wealthy designed in the early twentieth century as a place for elaborate entertaining.

In 1906, Perry Belmont, the son of the New York financier August Belmont and the grandson of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, purchased the block bounded by New Hampshire Avenue, Corcoran Street, 18th Street, and R Street. At the time this area around Dupont Circle was the most fashionable section of the city. Belmont served as a Congressional Representative from New York from 1881 to 1887 and as Minister to Spain from 1888 to 1889. While in Europe he became familiar with the designs of Sanson and hired the École des Beaux-Arts-trained architect to design his Washington residence. Sanson designed many works in Paris and Belgium and a house in Madrid, Spain, which has been occupied by the American Embassy.

The building later came to serve as the International Eastern Star Temple. The Eastern Star is the woman's organization associated with the Freemasons.

DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
National Register: May 8, 1973
Within Dupont Circle Historic District



1618 New Hampshire Avenue, NW