Embassy of Ukraine (Forrest-Marbury House)
By AlbinoFlea @ 2005-10-17 19:55:45
Upon completion of the Forrest - Marbury House, General Forrest, a Revolutionary War hero who lost a leg as a result of injury in the battle of Germantown and the 3rd Mayor of Georgetown, took up residence in 1792. He and his wife, Rebecca, the daughter of Maryland's Governor George Plater, lived there until 1793 or 1794. During the time that General Forrest lived in the Forrest - Marbury House, the Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, decided that the new nation's capital should be along the Potomac River. They entrusted president George Washington with the responsibility of selecting a suitable site.
Both Stoddert and Forrest had served as Washington's officers in the Revolutionary War and Forrest had at one time been Washington's Aide-de-Camp. Because of this friendship, Washington asked these men to assist in securing agreement from the nineteen original landowners so that the government could acquire their land for a capital city. These efforts culminated with an agreement in principle which was reached at the famous March 29, 1791 dinner hosted by Forrest at his home. Washington's diary for that date reads "dined at Colo. Forrest's today with the Commissioner and others". Thus, the Forrest - Marbury House is the site of one of the United States' most significant historical events, the establishment of the federal city of Washington, D.C. With the selection of the nation's capital, development along the Potomac started to expand. Construction of the White House began in 1792, the Capitol Building - in 1793, and Georgetown University - in 1789.
On December 6, 1800 William Marbury, a Federalist and supporter of President John Adams, purchased Forrest - Marbury House for 2,250 pounds (about $5,850 at that time). A short time after Marbury took up residence in his new home, he became involved in one of the most, if not the most, significant court cases in U.S. history.
Between 1808 and 1813, to accommodate his large family, Marbury added a curved ceiling to the south side of the main floor. The lower level of this addition was probably open and provided direct access from the house kitchen to the gardens through one of the five brick archway that are retained as part of the current courtyard. A house water well was discovered here. In 1817, a two - story east wing, with basement, was constructed. At that time, an access corridor was created within the second floor parlor.
Upon William Marbury's death in 1835, his son John took title to the Forrest - Marbury House and moved in with family. The younger Marbury became a distinguished member of the Washington Bar Association and later became president of the Potomac Insurance Company. Under John Marbury's ownership, the last additions to the structure of the house were made. In 1856, the main top story with gabled roof was removed and a full third floor was added.
In September, 1889 John Marbury Jr. subdivided Lots 32,33 and 34 of then Square 14 into sixteen lots. Forrest - Marbury Court occupies divisions 1-4 of this subdivision. The sale of the Forrest - Marbury House to Robert A. Phillips, Realtors in 1891 facilitated the conversion of the house to commercial property. For the next 95 years numerous alterations were made to the building to adapt it for commercial use. For a time, the first floor was used for retail business while the upper floors were converted to apartments. Later, store fronts, plumbing, electricity, press metal ceiling coverings, central heating and the like were incorporated into the building. Its last occupant, prior to restoration, was the night spot Desperados.
After more than 200 years, restoration work to return the Forrest - Marbury House to its original splendor has been completed. Substantial portions of the house infrastructure (circa 1788 through 1856) remain today and have been incorporated in the restoration. The exterior has been restored with original material to reflect the Greek Revival Period (circa 1835) based upon a Civil War era photograph of the house. The interior of the Forrest-Marbury House incorporates elements of the Federalist (circa 1788) and the Greek Revival periods, as exemplified by the second floor trim and woodwork and the central staircase. All work conforms to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Preservation. Complementing the rehabilitation of the Forrest - Marbury House, construction of what is now called Forrest-Marbury Court, was in strict keeping with the historical significance of the property.
On December 31, 1992, the Government of Ukraine purchased the Forrest - Marbury House for the Embassy of Ukraine.
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