NW Quadrant, East of Rock Creek, NW Quadrant, West of Rock Creek, Diplomats, Dupont Circle, Sheridan/Kalorama, Woodley Park, Architecturally Significant, Federal Government Employees, Female, Society Hostesses, Showbiz, Also of Interest

Perle Mesta
(October 12, 1889 - March 16, 1975)

Embassy of Myanmar, 2300 S St. NW, Kalorama neighborhood.

Mesta was US Ambassador to Luxembourg from 1949 to 1953.  She is best known, however, as a Washington socialite, knicknamed "The Hostess with the Mostest" for her lavish parties that combined national political figures with artists and entertainers.

Mesta is the author of a memoir, Perle: My Story (1960).  She moved to DC in 1940, and was active in the National Woman's Party and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.  A close friend of Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, her parties were bipartisan and glamorous, and being included was considered a sure sign that you had reached the inner circle of DC political society.

Mesta was the inspiration for the Irving Berlin musical Call Me Madam, starring Ethel Merman as Mesta.


Also home of Herbert Hoover.

Architect: Appleton P. Clarke, Jr. Year: 1902
Also known as the Gales House, this Georgian Revival mansion is notable for its wide projecting central bay. This house, and the neighboring Myers House, were the site of Kalorama, the mansion once owned by poet and diplomat Joel Barlow, that gives the neighborhood its name.


Wardman Tower, 2600 Woodley Rd. NW, Woodley Park neighborhood, DC
Embassy of Algiers, "The Elms," 4040 52nd St. NW, Spring Valley neighborhood, DC


McCormick Apartments, 1785 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Dupont Circle neighborhood, DC. Now the American Enterprise Institute.

Architect: Jules Henri de Sibour. Year: 1915.
This luxury Beaux Arts apartment building originally had 6 large units, and quarters for over 40 servants. This building was also a former home to Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon, who also founded the National Gallery of Art; diplomat and art collector Robert Woods Bliss; Secretary of Agriculture Edwin Thomas Meredith; Under Secretary of State Benjamin Sumner Welles; and Ambassador Alanson B. Houghton.