Thomas Beall constructed this large Federal house, typical of Northeastern seacoast mansions, as an investment in about 1794. From 1916 to 1920, it was the residence of Newton Diehl Baker, considered by some historians to be among the most distinguished Secretaries of War in U.S. history. As Woodrow Wilson's War Minister from 1916 to 1921, Baker presided over America's mass mobilization of men and material in World War I. In addition to his Cabinet duties, Baker, says his biographer Elting E. Morison, served as "one of Wilson's most trusted confidants and as much of an advisor as Wilson ever permitted anyone to be." A strong supporter of the President in the unsuccessful fight for the League of Nations, Baker, according to historian Daniel R. Beaver, "became a keeper of the Wilsonian conscience in foreign affairs in the twenties."
DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
National Register: December 8, 1976
National Historic Landmark: December 8, 1976
Within Georgetown Historic District