Everybody who is anybody in the nation’s capital lives in the neighbourhood of Kalorama – at least, it must feel that way sometimes.
Situated north of Dupont Circle, the historic neighbourhood is home to numerous bigwigs in media, politics, diplomacy, and lobbying.
But they are far from the only big names in the neighbourhood, which counts Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith, Fox News host Chris Wallace and countless others among its residents.
We took a walk through Kalorama on a recent trip to Washington, D.C. to see why the area is such a coveted destination.
Kalorama is located in northwest Washington D.C., just above Dupont Circle. It’s actually two neighbourhoods: Sheridan-Kalorama (in yellow) and Kalorama Triangle (in purple).
We started our tour in Kalorama Triangle, around 20th St NW and Wyoming Ave. Most Kalorama residents consider the “real” Kalorama to be in Sheridan-Kalorama.
But Kalorama Triangle houses one of the city’s oldest luxury apartment buildings, The Mendota, which was first built in 1901 and has long had upper-class residents.
The area borders hip and diverse Adams Morgan, which is one of the major centres of nightlife in D.C.
But Kalorama Triangle is pretty residential. The neighbourhood, and adjacent Sheridan-Kalorama, are known for their idyllic suburban landscape.
Head down to Connecticut Avenue and there’s a a park and statue honouring Major General George McClellan, the famous Union army general during the Civil War.
From there, we head into Sheridan-Kalorama, where the real upper crust lives. The area is very quiet. The only store in the neighbourhood we saw was the Open Door Market.
It serves as a wine store, grocery, deli, laundromat, and dry cleaners.
Nearby you’ll find the Spanish Steps, a broad concrete staircase built in 1911 as part of the City Beautiful movement. Named after Rome’s famous staircase, it is Washington’s only public park that occupies a street.
From there, we went to Mitchell Park, a small and quiet park in the neighbourhood. Sheridan-Kalorama is technically outside the original boundaries of D.C.
Mitchell Park is a beautiful place to walk your dog or have a picnic. Perhaps residents might find Barack taking Bo and Sunny for midday stroll.
The park also has a playground, a number of athletic fields, and a basketball court. Barack is famously a big fan of pickup basketball. Maybe he’ll start playing here.
This is the embassy of Ireland. Sheridan-Kalorama is also often known as the Embassy Row neighbourhood due to the more than 70 embassies and diplomatic residences in the area. Most are situated nearby on Massachusetts Avenue.
The neighbourhood is full of stately colonial houses with manicured lawns. The neighbourhood is one of the few in DC that is elevated above the city. It provides some good views.
Head down South Street NW and you’ll find Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s new house. At 27,000 square feet, the house is the largest in Washington. Bezos reportedly paid $US23 million in cash for it.
Source: The Washington Post
The house is actually made up of two historic mansions that he is currently converting to a single-family home. There was a lot of construction happening on the day we walked by.
One of the buildings housed the Textile Museum up until 2013, when it was moved to George Washington University. Both mansions are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Next door to Bezos’s new digs is the Woodrow Wilson House, where the 28th president lived after his second term until his death in 1924. It was designated a historic landmark in 1964.
Bezos’s neighbour’s house, across the street, didn’t look too shabby either. The neighbourhood is known for being very quiet and private. Neighbours mingle in backyards, but rarely on the street.
Most of the houses in the neighbourhood are brick colonial houses. Despite the concentration of politicos, partisanship tends to be checked at the door, according to Jim Bell, a Kalorama resident and executive vice president of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.
Source: The Washington Diplomat
This is the residence of the ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry. The actual embassy of Pakistan is located in Cleveland Park, a short drive away.
Next we headed to 24th St NW, where Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lives. While the cars in the neighbourhood hadn’t been that impressive to this point, there was a noticeable uptick in quality on Tillerson’s block.
Tillerson bought this townhouse for $US5.6 million in February. The house has five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, and two half bathrooms. The previous owner of the house was AOL executive Richard Hanlon.
Source: Curbed DC
If you want to live next door, this house is for sale for $US4.6 million. And this one has seven bedrooms rather than Tillerson’s five. Just saying …
This car was across the street from Tillerson’s house. Not sure what this car owner “FORGOT” …
It’s unclear who lives here, but this place is a lot of house. Around one-third of the neighbourhood’s residents are tech industry execs or hedge-funders.
All over the neighbourhood are these historic “call boxes,” 19th century public phones that could be used to call police or the fire department. Residents have turned them into mini-museums commemorating Kalorama history. This one talked about the numerous Supreme Court justices who lived in the neighbourhood.
This call-box talked about how five US presidents lived in Kalorama between 1916 and 1930, including Warren G. Harding, William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
There are a lot of houses in the neighbourhood that have a palatial European style. The area is known for having the biggest houses in D.C. The average price in the area is around $US3.5 million, according to Redfin.
Source: The Washington Diplomat
But that doesn’t mean the leaves are getting cleaned up any faster. Someone really needs to step out of their mansion with a leafblower on this street.
This house on Wyoming Ave is the house of Juleanna Glover-Weiss, a public affairs consultant who has been described by Bloomberg as someone you “need to know” in D.C. She is known for throwing parties with lots of important people.
Source: Bloomberg News
The residence of the Portuguese ambassador, Domingos Fezas Vital, looks stately. The first house in the neighbourhood was built by diplomat Joel Barlow who named the area Kalorama, Greek for “fine view.”
The neighbourhood is full of beautiful trees and finely manicured lawns. I guess if you’re going to spend a few million dollars on a house, you’re not going to skimp on landscaping.
A short drive from Sheridan-Kalorama is Rock Creek Park, a beautiful 2000-acre urban park. But, if you don’t want to leave, some trails extend right up to the neighbourhood. Rock Creek forms the border of Sheridan-Kalorama.
And here we are at the Obamas’ block of Belmont Road NW. Of course, a police car was blocking anyone from entering or exiting. I headed down to the other side of the street to see if it was blocked from there as well.
And blocked on the other side too. When I asked the police officer if the residents are upset at the blockade, he laughed. “They get free security. They’re happy.” That makes sense considering the Obamas’ neighbours: Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith and super-lobbyist Tony Podesta live next door, among others.
I headed up to Tracy Place to see if Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s block was blocked off. It wasn’t, but there was mental fencing around their house.
And a security van in front. They came and talked to me to make sure I wasn’t up to anything mischievous. I wasn’t … I promised.
And here’s their house. They are renting it for $US15,000 a month from Chilean mining billionaire Andrónico Luksic. It is 7,000 square feet.
Source: Business Insider
One of the diplomatic buildings of the Russian Federation is a block away.
Source: Foreign Policy
This house, next door to the Kushner/Trumps was a favourite in the neighbourhood. Look at that ivy.
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