Historic Structures

Joseph Beale House (Embassy, Arab Republic of Egypt), Washington DC

Date added: October 13, 2010 Categories: House

This home was built as a residence for Joseph Beale and wife Margaret Beale in 1907-1909. Margaret inherited it after the death of Joseph in 1916. The house sat vacant from 1918 to 1929. In November 1928 Margaret sold the home to The Royal Government of Egypt for use as an embassy.

Interior walls have been removed between the ground floor east rooms which originally included the ladies' reception room, man's room, servants' hall, and kitchen. This area is now used as a museum.

The east wall chimney mantle in the kitchen has been removed, and the kitchen moved to the basement.

The four story plus basement structure measures 63'-1" from sidewalk to parapet cap. All elevations are three bays wide: the convex Sheridan Circle elevation 68'-10", with a tripartite central bay; the concave rear elevation 44'-8"; and the east and west elevations approximately 55'-4".

Floor plans: On axis with the street entrance are the ground floor vestibule (flanked by lavatories accessible from the library and museum), the trapezoidal entrance hall (approached by three risers within the vestibule), and the apsidal stair hall (approached by three risers from the entrance hall). The west library and east museum flank the entrance hall. Flanking the stair are the northeast service rooms and utility stair, and the northwest elevator.

The apsidal stair ascends only to the second floor where it is on axis with the rectangular reception room, the circular sitting room and the convex Venetian loggia. Flanking all three spaces are the west drawing room and the east dining room. The stair is flanked on the east by a butler's pantry and stair with musicians' mezzanine, and on the west by the family stair and elevator.

Both the family and service stairs ascend to the third and fourth floors. The third floor has a skylighted foyer with peripheral bedroom suites. The fourth floor has additional bedrooms and servants' quarters.