Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan
By AlbinoFlea @ 2006-02-15 18:02:41
Built in 1906 and completed in 1909, this structure was designed in the Louis XV manner by French architect Jules Henri de Sibour (1872-1938), and was one of the largest and most costly on the avenue. The interior is a combination of 16th, 17th, and 18th century French and English detail. The simple, logical progression of interior spaces and the sequence of their stylistic changes reveal a quality in both design and craftsmanship. Special attention is drawn to the particularly fine woodcarving, plaster and iron work, and the remarkable hardware and lighting fixtures throughout.
The building served as a private residence from the time it was built until 1927, when it was then purchased by the Canadian government and used as legation, chancery, and embassy. The government of the Republic of Uzbekistan purchased the building to serve as their embassy in the summer of 1996.
The original owner was Clarence Moore, an associate of the successful W.B. Hibbs and Company, one of Washington's top banking and brokerage firms. He was a noted horseman, and held the position of Master of the Hounds at the exclusive Chevy Chase Club. To his fatal misfortune, Moore booked a return trip from England aboard the Titanic, and sank to his death in 1912.
He was survived by his wife Mabelle Moore, who remarried three years later to Aksel Wichfeld, a Dane who engaged in banking and the operation of taxicab companies before being appointed an attaché of the Danish Legion in 1916.
As one of four Wichfeld estates, the Washington residence, as quoted by a 1927 edition of the Sunday Star, was "the scene of many fashionable gatherings of diplomatic and social circles". In April of that same year, the Wichfelds sold the building to the Canadians.
In 1996, the building was sold to the Republic of Uzbekistan. Since its purchase, the Embassy has undergone some interior changes. Uzbek decor has been added to personalize the building and to display to its visitors the rich tradition of such Central Asian arts as woodcarving, silk weaving, glass staining, and painting.
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