16th Street and FullerFormer Spanish Embassy on 16th Street

The structure at the northeast corner of 16th and Fuller Streets (2801 16th Street, NW), was built as part of the ambitious project of Mrs. John B. Henderson to turn 16th street into the diplomatic and social core of Washington. It was designed by architect George Oakley Totten and erected in 1922 at a cost of $500,000.

Mrs. Henderson’s goal was to give it to the United States as the home of the Vice President. After much debating and consideration, Congress declined the offer stating that the upkeep alone was too costly.

It remained unoccupied for four years, until purchased by Spain as their embassy in Washington. Spain found the building ideally suited to their needs and remained there for over 70 years.

Today, the Spanish Embassy has moved to 2375 Pennsylvania Ave. Though the building is currently empty, the plan is to turn the former embassy into a Center for Spanish-American Relations.

Spanish Embassy 1927

Kent Boese posts items of historic interest, primarily within the District. He’s worked in libraries since 1994, both federal and law, and currently works on K Street. He’s been an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner serving the northern Columbia Heights and Park View neighborhoods since 2011 (ANC 1A), and is a candidate for the DC Council, Ward 1. He has a MS in Design from Arizona State University with strong interests in preservation, planning, and zoning. Kent is also the force behind the blog Park View, DC.