NW Quadrant, East of Rock Creek, Dupont Circle, Architecturally Significant, Diplomats, Female, Journalists, Latino, Radicals, Showbiz

Alba de Céspedes
(March 11, 1911 - November 14, 1997)

1529 18th St. NW, Dupont Circle neighborhood, DC. Formerly the Cuban Embassy, now the Mathematical Association of America.

The Cuban-Italian poet, novelist and screenwriter was born in Rome. Her father, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y Quesada, was a Cuban diplomat and briefly president of Cuba in 1930.

Céspedes worked as a journalist in the 1930s for Piccolo, Epoca, and La Stampa. In 1935, she wrote her first novel, L’Anima Degli Altri. In 1935, she was jailed for her anti-fascist activities in Italy. Two of her novels, Nessuno Torna Indietro (1938) and La Fuga (1940), were also banned. During World War II, she was again imprisoned for her work with Italian partisan groups.

After the war she went to live in Paris and founded the literary journal Mercurio which published the work of Alberto Moravia, Ernest Hemingway, Massimo Bontempelli, and Sibilla Aleramo in Italian for the first time.

Her books include There's No Turning Back (1938), The Best of Husbands (1949), Between Then and Now (1956), Remorse (1967), Before and After (1960), In the Dark of Night (1980). Her novel La Bambolona (1967) was adapted into a film by Franco Giraldi. She also wrote the screenplay for Michelangelo Antonioni's film Le Amiche (1955).

Céspedes lived at this address from 1914 to 1922 while her father served as Cuban ambassador to the United States.



Year: 1903
In addition to ownership by the Cuban government, other notable residents of this five-story Classical Revival house have included US Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes and Senator Frederic M. Sackett. It later served as headquarters for the Association of Military Colleges and Schools in the United States and the Association of the United States Army. Since 1979, it has been owned by the Mathematical Association of America.