Newton D. Baker House

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Newton D. Baker House
Newton D. Baker House.JPG
Newton D. Baker House is located in Washington, D.C.
Newton D. Baker House
Location 3017 N St., NW, Washington, D.C.
Coordinates 38°54′25″N 77°3′37″W / 38.90694°N 77.06028°W / 38.90694; -77.06028Coordinates: 38°54′25″N 77°3′37″W / 38.90694°N 77.06028°W / 38.90694; -77.06028
Built 1794
Architect Thomas Beall
NRHP Reference # 76002126
Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 8, 1976[1]
Designated NHL December 8, 1976[2]

Newton D. Baker House, also known as Jacqueline Kennedy House, is a historic house at 3017 N Street NW in Washington, D.C.. Built in 1794, it was home of Newton D. Baker, who was Secretary of War, during 1916-1920, while "he presided over America's mass mobilization of men and material in World War I.[3] After the assassination of president John F. Kennedy in 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy purchased the house and lived here for about a year.[3]

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976.[2][3]


The house was built in 1794 by Thomas Beall. During its early years, the house was situated on a large plot of land and was said to have had a servants wing attached to the east side. At that time N Street was known as Gay Street and was situated higher than today.[4]

In 1796, John Laird, a wealthy merchant, lived in the house, and later Maj. George Peter, a War of 1812 commander and Maryland Congressman, purchased the house who lived there until 1827, when the same Laird bought the house for his son. In 1834, William Redin, the first auditor of the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, purchased it.[4]

In 1868, Redin's unmarried daughter inherited and sold the dwelling, which became the Georgetown Female Seminary. The Seminary had a student body of boarders and day students totaling 105. In approximately 1890, John H. Smoot bought the building and converted it back to a private residence again.[4]

In 1915, Col. William E. Pattison French purchased the house, and began renting it to Newton D. Baker in 1916. When Baker returned to Ohio in 1920, French either leased or lived in the house himself for more than two decades. During the World War II, the British military attache occupied the house and rented rooms to British officers.[4]

After the World War II, Vice Admiral Alan Kirk, later Ambassador to Belgium and to the Soviet Union, purchased the property. Three years later, Dr. E. H. Gushing bought the home along with his wife. They sold the attached servants' wing as a separate residence to Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Woodward who built a new front entrance and lived in the home. The Cushings updated the main house's electrical wiring and plumbing and removed some of the interior walls therefore enlarging the living room.[4]

In 1954, James McMillan Gibson bought the dwelling, added a small rear wing, and installed an elevator and lived there with his wife.[4]

In 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy purchased the house and lived in it shortly after the assassination of president John F. Kennedy in 1963. The Kennedy family lived here for about a year.[3]

In 1965, Michael Whitney Straight purchased the home[4] for $200,000 (equivalent to $1,544,000 in 2016), from Kennedy when she moved to New York City.[5] While living in the home, Straight married his second wife, Nina G. Auchincloss Steers in 1974. Nina was the daughter of Nina Gore and Hugh D. Auchincloss. She was the half-sister of writer Gore Vidal and coincidentally, a stepsister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.[6] Straight and his wife spent $125,000 (equivalent to $607,000 in 2016) renovating the home and decided to move to Bethesda, Maryland in 1976 when he was vice chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Straight and his wife lived in the home from until 1976.[7]

In 1976, Yolande Bebeze Fox, the former Miss America 1951, bought the home from Straight.[8] Fox lived in the home until her death in February 2016.[9]

Architectural details[edit]

The home is considered more representative of New England architecture than other contemporary Georgetown homes.[4] The house has many architectural details including "a wide limestone stairway", "pink-painted lintels with keystones", "brick voussoirs", "Doric pilasters", and a "semi-elliptical fanlight".[3]

Resident timeline[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "Newton D. Baker House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-05-07. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Cathy A. Alexander; Ralph Christian & George R. Adams (February 1976). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Newton D. Baker House / Newton D. Baker - Jacqueline Kennedy House" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying four photos, exterior, from 1975 and 1978 (32 KB)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES INVENTORY -- NOMINATION FORM" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  5. ^ Cheshire, Maxine (October 22, 1972). "Spiro T's on the Ball". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Mrs. Steers Wed to Michael Straight". The New York Times. May 2, 1974. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  7. ^ Staff (December 7, 1975). "Mrs. Onassis, 'Gracious Full of Pep,' D.C. Socialite Says". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  8. ^ Joynt, Carol (November 11, 2013). "Washington Social Diary". New York Social Diary. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  9. ^ Bernstein, Adam (2016-02-25). "Yolande Betbeze Fox, a Miss America who rebelled, dies at 87". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-02-26.