NW Quadrant, East of Rock Creek, Dupont Circle, Architecturally Significant, Female, Genre, Journalists, Radicals

Helen Churchill Candee
(October 5, 1858 – August 23, 1949)

1621 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Dupont Circle neighborhood, DC.  Now owned by the Fund for American Studies.

After her abusive husband finally abandoned her and their two children, Candee turned to writing to support herself.  They divorced in 1896, after a lengthy separation.  She also became one of the first professional interior designers in DC (whose clients included Theodore Roosevelt).  She later gained fame for surviving the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912: she was in the same lifeboat as Margaret "The Unsinkable Molly" Brown, and her in-depth eyewitness account was published in Collier's Weekly.

Candee is the author of eight books, including a novel, An Oklahoma Romance (1901), as well as popular nonfiction books, such as How Women May Earn a Living (1900) and the interior decorating books, Decorative Styles and Periods (1906) and The Tapestry Book (1912).  She wrote articles on etiquette, child care, education, and women's rights for Scriber's and Ladies Home Journal.  Her short fiction appeared in Harper's Bazaar, Woman's Home Companion, and Good Housekeeping.

Active while living in DC in Democratic politics and on civic boards, Candee was a trustee for the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and served on the board of the Washington Chapter of the National Woman Suffrage Association.  She participated in the famed "Votes for Women" parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in 1913, one of a group of women riding horses at the head of the procession.

Candee later worked as a nurse in WWI in Italy, where one of her patients was Ernest Hemingway.  Her later books are travel memoirs, including Ankor the Magnificent (1924) and New Journeys in Old Asia (1927).  She was one of the nine founders of the Society of Women Geographers.  In the 1930s, while in her late 70s, she wrote regular articles for National Geographic Magazine.



Architect: Waddy Wood, Edward Donn, and William Deming
Year: 1905
Also known as the Dr. Leo Brown House, for a later resident; the building was purchased in 2007 by the Fund for American Studies, an educational nonprofit founded by the son of Thomas Alva Edison.

Photo of author courtesy of Library of Congress.