NW Quadrant, East of Rock Creek, Adams Morgan , Architecturally Significant, Diplomats, Journalists, Major Literary Awardees, Showbiz

Paul Claudel
(August 6, 1868 – February 23, 1955)

2460 16th St. NW, Adams Morgan neighborhood, DC. Formerly the French Embassy, now the Council for Professional Recognition.

Claudel was a French poet, dramatist and diplomat, and the younger brother of the sculptor Camille Claudel. He was most famous for his verse dramas, which often conveyed his devout Catholicism.

He was the author of three memoirs, 23 plays, 14 volumes of poetry and 20 volumes of essays. The most famous of his plays are Le Partage de Midi/The Break of Noon (1906), L'Annonce Faite a Marie/The Annunciation of Mary (1910) and Le Soulier de Satin/The Satin Slipper (1931). He wrote the text for Jeanne d'Arc au Bûcher/Joan of Arc at the Stake (1939), an "opera-oratario" with music by Arthur Honegger. Many of his plays were set to music by Darius Milhaud. An avid correspondent, 17 volumes of Claudel's letters have been published including volumes dedicated to Jean-Louis Barrault, Gaston Gallimard, Andre Gide, Francis Jammes, Darius Milhaud, Lugné-Poe, Jacques Rivière, and André Suarès.

W. H. Auden acknowledged Claudel's importance in the early versions of his famous poem “In Memory of W. B. Yeats”: “Time that with this strange excuse / Pardoned Kipling and his views, / And will pardon Paul Claudel, / Pardons him for writing well.”

He was elected to the Académie Française and received the Grand Cross of the French Legion of Honour.

A member of the French Diplomatic Corps, Claudel lived in this house as the French Ambassador to the United States from 1928 to 1933.

Also home of Henri Bérenger and Jean Jules Jusserand.

Architect: George Oakley Totten, Jr. Year: 1908
This Beaux Arts mansion was owned by Sen. And Mrs. John B. Henderson, and rented to the French government as an Ambassador’s residence through 1936. The exterior is carved Indian limestone with a slate roof. The interior has an entrance hall with a marble mosaic floor, and a marble staircase with wrought iron balustrades. The second floor has a circular drawing room and oak parquetry floors. Formerly the French Embassy and the Embassy of Ghana, it now houses the Council for Professional Recognition.