This house was the residence of Dr. Ralph Bunche, the distinguished African American political scientist, diplomat, and scholar, from 1941 to 1947. Bunche is chiefly remembered for his mediation in the Arab–Israeli conflict in Palestine in the 1940s, work for which he was recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950. He was the first African American to be so honored. Key in the early development of the United Nations, including in creating and adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and a member of the first American delegation to the UN General Assembly in 1946, Bunche was honored for his years of peacekeeping work with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded to him by John F. Kennedy, in 1963. From 1928 to 1950, Bunche chaired the Department of Political Science at Howard University. He was also an active supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, participating in both the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery.
In addition to honoring Bunche's historical contributions, this house is also notable for its association with Hilyard R. Robinson, the noted African American DC architect who built the house for Bunche. Designed in the International Style, the house reflects design principles and elements not frequently seen in DC.
DC Inventory: April 29, 1975
National Register: September 30, 1993