Built in 1836, Ashburton House served as a home for British diplomats. For instance, the residence hosted the ten month American-British negotiations that eventually led to the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842, which resolved the long-standing dispute with Great Britain over major segments of the boundary with Canada and ended the Aroostook War. Diplomatic historian Samuel Bemis called this dispute “one of the gravest and most inveterate diplomatic issues of the United States in the generation following the War of 1812.” In addition, these negotiations saw the United States protect and respect the rights of the United States in international affairs.
St. John’s Church acquired the building in 1953 and adapted its interior for use as a parish hall. It is currently used as offices and meeting space for St. John’s Church. The building has been highly renovated, but still includes original details like the marble and wood mantel fireplaces, floor-length marble columns, and lintels above the doors.
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
National Register: November 7, 1973
National Historic Landmark: November 7, 1973
Within Lafayette Square Historic District