August 3 – Heurich House (ONP #215)

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That “castle” on the corner in D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood? For years I didn’t pay it any attention other than a passing glance.

Until tonight, when an event I attended at the “Heurich House,” turned out to be this place. (Oh, it’s you!) This stone behemoth is actually a Gilded Age mansion built in 1892-94 by Christian Heurich, a German immigrant to the U.S. who made his fortune in the nation’s capital as a beer brewer.

Part medieval castle with a tower and turret and a coat of medieval knight’s armor set up in the vestibule (very welcoming, Christian!), and part Gilded Age froofery, with fringed lampshades, gold-colored upholstery, and tables that weigh more than a couple of elephants, this mansion is definitely NOT my idea of a cozy place to live . . . but then, nobody asked me.

It’s pretty cool to visit, though. The people who run it now as a museum (The Heurich House Museum) are doing a great job, hosting all kinds of events, from film screenings to art exhibits in the carriage house, to beer tastings, of course! The garden is a nice little neighborhood secret too—if the gates are open, you can wander in off the street to enjoy it.