The Mansion on O Street

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The Mansion on O Street
Mansion on O Street logo.png
General information
Location Washington, D.C., U.S.
Address 2020 O Street N.W.
Opening February 14, 1980
Owner H.H. Leonards
Technical details
Floor count 4
Floor area 30,000 square feet
Design and construction
Architect Edward Clark (original - 1892)
Other information
Number of rooms various
Number of restaurants various
Website
www.omansion.com

The Mansion on O Street is an American luxury boutique hotel in the Dupont Circle historic district of Washington D.C. The hotel is noted for eccentric interior styling which includes hidden doors, secret passages, and rooms in which all furnishings and fixtures are for sale. The four-story building contains guest rooms, a private Social club, the O Street Museum Foundation and a conference center.[1]

History[edit]

The building was originally designed in 1892 by the architect of the Capitol Edward Clark[2] as a cluster of three row houses for himself and family members including his brother Champ Clark, another brother known as "the artist" and a sister. The residences were connected through the basements and main floors and contained separate sleeping quarters upstairs. It has been suggested that Clark incorporated left-over tiles and wood from the United States Capitol building in the construction.[citation needed]

In the 1930s the home was converted into three separate rooming houses for the members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.[citation needed]

On February 14, 1980, H.H. Leonards purchased 2020 O Street, the first row house in the series of connected brownstones. Leonards has asserted this purchase was made using credit cards.[3] Leonards renovated the townhouse as a bed-and-breakfast and private club. After renovations were completed, Leonards designed and built a new brownstone on the adjacent vacant lot at 2022 O Street. In 1990, the buildings became administered under the not-for-profit membership association of H.H. Leonards Associates (HHLA). Leonards subsequently acquired three adjacent row houses, each incorporated into the single property: Number 2018 in 1991, Number 2016 in 1992 and Number 2024 in 1994.[4]

In 1998 Leonards opened the O Street Museum inside the facility. The museum includes art, sculpture, music, memorabilia and written manuscripts in the collection. The museum hosts concerts, book signing talks, film screenings[5] and tours throughout the year.

The interior design of the Mansion on O Street became noted for unique and eccentric styling of various architectural, artistic and design periods. It incorporates maze-like passageways, hidden doors and secret rooms. The unique decor has been chronicled in books including "Four Blind Mice (novel)," by James Patterson, "Afterburn" by Zane (author)[6] and in the young adult series Gilda Joyce: The Dead Drop by Jennifer Allison[7]

All the furnishings, fixtures and decorative items within the rooms can be purchased. The hotel subsequently developed a reputation for privacy, exclusivity and a high-profile clientele[8] that includes authors, artists, musicians[9] Ambassadors[10] Presidents, and civil rights heroine Rosa Parks[11]

Facilities[edit]

The Mansion on O Street incorporates 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) into 100 rooms. It includes 6 main kitchens, 12 conference rooms, and 30 special event galleries.[12] Rooms, suites and residences have varied theme, including a two-story log cabin, a safari room and an art deco penthouse. A conference center is used for corporate events, off-site meetings, corporate retreats, engagements,[13] weddings,[14] parties and fundraisers. The foot-print includes large and small meeting galleries that can hold up to 200 guests.

Business model[edit]

Divided into for-profit and non-profit arms, The Mansion has a unique business model as noted in PSFK “The Mansion on O Street represents a future business paradigm - one in which there is maximum utility in every product, service, or idea that is sold.”[15]

Nearly everything in The Mansion is for sale[16] (except the signature guitars). For day-to-day operations they rely on volunteers as well as a handful of employees.

Philanthropy[edit]

The hotel has provided support for charities including the American Forest Foundation, Habitat for Humanity,[17] Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, and the American Red Cross.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wise, Jayne (Jan–Feb 2000). "That Capital Mansion on ‘O". National Geographic Traveler. Retrieved January 2000. 
  2. ^ "Capitol Architect". New York Times Archives. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  3. ^ Wakefield, Julie. "When a Neighborhood Gets Clubbed". Washington City Paper. 
  4. ^ Wakefield, Julie (March 15, 1996). "When a Neighborhood Gets Clubbed". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  5. ^ Debalkew, Tsehaye. "A Film Depicting Post-famine Ethiopia Screened in DC". Embassy of Ethiopia. 
  6. ^ Feld, Karen (February 8, 2005). "Oh, the stories of "O"!". The Washington Examiner. 
  7. ^ Allison, Jennifer (2009). "The Dead Drop". Puffin Books. 
  8. ^ Smartz, Sofia (October 8, 2010). "Bed Check: Washington's Mansion on O". The Washington Post. 
  9. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (June 6, 2012). "Paul Williams: 'Alive' and kicking". USA Today. 
  10. ^ Debalkew, Tsehaye (April 24, 2012). "A Film Depicting Post-famine Ethiopia Screened in DC.". Embassy of Ethiopia. 
  11. ^ Feld, Karen (October 28, 2005). "What timing: Miers firm sets up D.C. shop". The Washington Examiner. 
  12. ^ Amber McDonald [1], Not For Tourists, January 22, 2010 accessed 2010-11-04.
  13. ^ Ellen McCarthy [2], The Washington Post Style, December 15, 2012 accessed 2013-3-25.
  14. ^ Danielle Freedman [3], District Weddings, January 11, 2012 accessed 2012-12-20.
  15. ^ "Old Mansion, New Paradigm". Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  16. ^ "The Mansion on O Street - Atlas Obscura". Retrieved 2011-08-09. 
  17. ^ "Habitat for Humanity Raises the Roof (and Funds) at Mansion on O". Retrieved December 2009. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°54′30″N 77°02′45″W / 38.9083°N 77.0459°W / 38.9083; -77.0459