Historic Structures

Devore-Chase House, Washington DC

Date added: January 6, 2011 Categories: House

First occupants were Brigadier General Daniel Bradford Devore (1860-1956) and Mrs. Devore (owner). In 1969 Mr. and Mrs. Chase, owners, offered house with endowment for maintenance as gift to United States Government for use as official residence of Chief Justice of the United States. Bill authorizing acceptance was still pending in Congress in January, 1972.

Overall dimensions: 88'6" (nine-bay front with 14' 7"-deep forecourt between two-bay terminal pavilions) x 60'3". One-bay central pavilions on front and south elevations project very slightly. Two-and-a-half stories (dormers not visible except from rear).

First floor: Front (east) entrance from open forecourt leads to rectangular vestibule approximately 7' deep. Inner entrance leads to hall 43'6" x 14' -with long axis running north-south through center of house. East of hall, facing forecourt, are two dressing rooms approximately 6' x 14' entered from hall. Two lavatories approximately 6' x 4' flank vestibule and are entered from dressing rooms. West wall of hall has main stairs in exedra at center, door to elevator at south end, and door to service passage at north end. Doorway in center of hall south wall opens to smaller hall 9' x 20' 10". Library 17' X 21'10" occupies southeast corner, and dining room 19'6"x26' occupies southwest corner, both opening from smaller hall, which has French doors to south lawn. Drawing room 39' x 19'6" occupies northeast corner and is entered from door centered on north wall of hall. Axial placement of main area doorways permits clear vistas through house from south entrance through drawing room and from dining room through library. Room approximately 19'6" x 15', originally fitted up apparently as informal dining room but now used as laundry, occupies northwest corner and is entered from service passage. Entrance to garage has been cut through in northwest corner of this room. Service passage turns south at right angle to run between enclosed back stairs on east and larder on west to kitchen. Secondary passage runs between cellar stairs on north and larder on south to rear entrance in west elevation. Pantry is between kitchen and dining room.

Second floor: Note: Outline of second floor plan is H shaped with rear pavilions flanking deck roof over kitchen, pantry, etc. Above west portion of main hall is passage approximately 7' x 43'6" entered from main stairs and through doors from back stairs and elevator. Two chambers with bath between them occupy area over dressing rooms, lavatories, vestibule, and east portion of main hall. Master chamber is over library with bath over south hall. Upstairs living room is over dining room. Another master chamber and bath are over drawing room. Suite of two rooms and bath for domestics is in northwest corner.

Third floor: Central passage entered from back stairs gives access to domestic's quarters and storage rooms.

House faces east on northwest corner lot measuring 127.50' x 75' and is sited about 18' from east and south property lines. Public 15'-wide alley borders property on north. Numerous embassies are in immediate neighborhood, which is prime residential area.