Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Decatur House to Showcase The President's Neighborhood Exhibition

Photo: White House Historical Association

From our friends at the Hay-Adams Hotel...

This Summer, Become Familiar with The President’s Neighborhood at the Historic Decatur House with a Stay at the Landmark Hay-Adams Overlooking The White House

The Decatur House will showcase a new exhibition titled The President’s Neighborhood, just steps from the award-winning Hay-Adams hotel which is offering a special package

Opening Thursday, May 5, 2016, the White House Historical Association is mounting a new exhibition at their historic Decatur House, The President’s Neighborhood, relating the story of a pivotal historic preservation success in the heart of the nation’s capital. The landmarks featured in the exhibition, as part of a historic survey, will include The White House, Blair House, The President’s Guest House, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Decatur House, Cutts-Madison House, U.S. Department of Treasury, Eisenhower Executive Office Building and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In addition to these key sites, other influential buildings around Lafayette Square, like The Hay-Adams, will be interpreted within the exhibition. Artifacts, imagery, and primary sources will engage visitors in the history of the White House and the evolution of the president’s neighborhood. Exhibit hours are Monday - Saturday 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, and will be on display through Friday, September 2, 2016 (Note: closing date may be extended.) The exhibit is free of charge to the public.

Visitors wishing to experience this historic area firsthand for a weekend stay are invited to reserve a guestroom at The Hay-Adams, where nothing is overlooked but the White House. This historic hotel is situated across H Street, NW from Decatur House, and across 16th Street, NW from St. John’s Episcopal, the "Church of the Presidents," making it an ideal location for getting to know the neighborhood. The Hay-Adams is offering a President’s Neighborhood Room Package nightly rate beginning at $379 for Friday and Saturday, subject to availability. The package also includes Continental Breakfast for two daily. A complete history of The Hay-Adams, a cornerstone landmark in the Lafayette Square neighborhood follows below. The Hay-Adams is located at 800 16th Street NW, Washington DC, 20006 and affords guests Washington's most prestigious address. The hotel is also just minutes from the Smithsonian Museums, the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol Building, the Mall, as well as convenient to Metro stations and the convention center. For reservations or more information, call (202) 638-6600 or visit the website at www.hayadams.com.

This upcoming President’s Neighborhood exhibition at the White House Historical Association will provide visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the White House and its influential neighbors. Themes of the exhibition’s interpretation will center around the social circles of Lafayette Square, material culture of the building’s contents and inhabitants, slavery on the Square, and the twentieth century’s preservation movement lead by both First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the National Register of Historic Places. The David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History is located at historic Decatur House, a National Trust Historic Site owned by the National Trust and operated by the White House Historical Association. For more information, please visit whitehousehistory.org.

History of The Hay-Adams:
The Hay-Adams, located across Lafayette Square from the White House, holds a special place in Washington, D.C. This classic hotel takes its name from earlier residents of its site: John Hay, private assistant to President Abraham Lincoln and later secretary of state, and Henry Adams, an acclaimed author and descendant of U.S. Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams. Like their impressive homes, the hotel has long been a favorite gathering place in the nation’s capital.

Adams was a member of an exclusive circle, a group of friends called the "Five of Hearts" that consisted of Henry, his wife Clover, geologist and mountaineer Clarence KingJohn Hay and his wife Clara. They knew every president from Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt and befriended Henry James, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, and a host of other important figures on both sides of the Atlantic. The Five of Hearts even had custom china and letterhead stationary.

In 1884, the Hay and Adams families bought adjoining lots at 16th and H Streets and asked renowned architect Henry Hobson Richardson to design their elaborate, Romanesque homes, which became Washington’s leading salons for years. The far-ranging discussions of politics, literature, science and art attracted the era’s leading artists, writers and politicians, including Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, Henry James and sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens.