The rumor was first spread by the apocrypha-journalists at the New York Post’s Page Six: Oprah Winfrey was looking at real estate in DC to be near her BFF Barak Obama and she was looking at a $50 million dollar mansion in Georgetown. Well there’s only one $50 million mansion for sale in Georgetown and it’s the estate known as “Evermay” at 1623 28th St. Everymay is the crown jewel of Georgetown’s family-owned large estates (Dumbarton Oaks is probably the crowniest of crown jewels of Georgetown, but it’s owned by Harvard).
After the jump: Evermay, Halcyon, and Graham, oh my…
Evermay was built in 1801 and is an excellent example of the then popular Federal or “Adam” style. Constructed on the “Rock of Dumbarton” (i.e. that part of upper Georgetown originally owned by Scottish Captain Ninian Beall who named the area after Dumbarton Rock in his home country) Evermay has passed through several families’ hands. Most recently it has been in the hands of the Belin family, who have owned it since 1923. In fact, whoever purchases the home will be buying the interred remains of about a dozen of the Belin family, which reside on-site.
This summer, after Evermay was put on the market, Harry Belin, who grew up there, related to the Georgetowner some of his favorite memories, including cross country skiing to Montrose Park and shooting racoons from his second floor window with a .22 rifle.
Carol Joynt reports that Oprah is looking not only at Evermay, but also Halcyon House as well as Katharine Graham’s house on R St (which isn’t for sale on the open market right now, but the current owner has barely ever lived there and may be willing to sell it).
The Oprah people deny that she is even looking at Evermay. It’s a tough call to say whether Oprah would be a good addition to the neighborhood or not. It would likely result in the house being more closed off (i.e. no more Garden Tour participation) and it’s doubtful Oprah would even be there very much. However, it would mean that Evermay wouldn’t be bought by a country to be turned into an embassy, which would close it off even more and take a seriously large tax bill off the public rolls.
GM would actually prefer Oprah buy Katharine Graham’s house. The current owner has really not taken very good care of it (both the physical structure and the landscaping). Hopefully she could bring some glamour back to the place.
Photos of Evermay courtesy of Washington Fine Properties.