When Perry Belmont was a Congressman, Ambassador to Spain, and prominent Washington socialite in 1906, he and his wife Jessie started building the mansion. Washington, D.C., the political and social hub of the United States, was a global capital at the turn of the 20th century.
The Perry Belmont House built the estate specifically to host dignitaries from around the world as well as prominent Washingtonians. Only exceptional occasions and the roughly two-month-long Washington party season were held at the building. It was created by renowned French architect Eugene Sanson, who also created other elaborate mansions and chateaus around Europe. He was well known for his use of space and light as well as for his exquisite staircases.
Long before the General Grand Chapter purchased the structure in 1935, it was a place of grandeur, elegant hospitality, illustrious diplomats, famous visitors, and romance. The Belmonts hosted elaborate parties and employed about 34 servants. They lived there between 1909 and 1925. After that, it was sealed off and placed on the market for sale with the restriction that it could not be changed for 20 years following the sale. Before the General Grand Chapter bought it in 1935, the home was unoccupied and unusable.
Being a Mason, Mr. Belmont was glad to sell it for $100,000 to The General Grand Chapter, who would take good care of it. The Right Worthy Grand Secretary is required by law to reside in the building as part of our arrangement with Mr. Belmont. So the structure still serves as both our headquarters and a functioning private residence.
Several Tiffany vases, paintings, furniture from the 14th and 15th centuries by Louis the 14th and 15th, porcelain, and oriental rugs were included with the acquisition of the mansion and are still on display for visitors to enjoy during tours.
All of the chandeliers are gold-gilded and are hung with hand-carved rock crystal droplets, some of which also have amethyst. Eleven fireplaces are present, the most having hand-carved marble mantles. All of the marble, wood, and metal fittings in the house were imported from France, Germany, and Italy, respectively.
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The General Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star received a “Award of Excellence in Historic Preservation” in the Stewardship category from the District of Columbia Preservation League on May 6, 2015. The Perry Belmont House in the District of Columbia serves as our stunning international headquarters, and the Award Certificate is proudly displayed there to acknowledge the contributions and ongoing support of the whole General Grand Chapter, OES, worldwide.
Perry Belmont House’s interior
The Grand Staircase leads to the Grand Ballroom via two stone-vaulted rooms.
The largest room at the Perry Belmont House is the Grand Ballroom, which sits on the second story. It is the focal point of the second floor. The chair rail, pilasters, and frieze in this room are all entirely made of oak.
State Dining Room
Both presidents and royals have been warmly hosted in the State Dining Room. In the State Dining Room, magnificent feasts and dinners were held against a background of sparkling candlelight.
Your guests will savor the upward perspective of the beautiful Doges palace ceiling of the State Dining Room, which Belmont bought while he was in Italy. The opulence of the ceiling was specifically incorporated into the State Dining Room’s design.
Up to 120 people, or 60 seated guests, may attend a wedding in the State Dining Room of Perry Belmont House for a fee of $3,000.
Room for Family Dining
The Family Dining Room is next to the Treasure Room and a modest French Salon towards the back of the mansion. The family dining room is decorated with marble-mounted gold-leaf lions.
Gold Room/Grand Salon
The mansion’s second level is home to the Grand Salon, sometimes referred to as the Gold Room, which features the mansion’s most understated décor of all the rooms. The Gold Room’s upholstered panels feature stunningly beautiful plant images with birds. The room’s overall impact is simply stunning. It is simple to understand how this room got its name when the wall sconces and chandeliers are illuminated.
150 people can sit for a wedding ceremony in the Grand Salon. There is enough room in this area for 110 guests to attend a standing reception. For a sitting reception, 80 people can be accommodated. The price of the Grand Salon is $3,000.00.
Here are some then and now photos
For more than a century, it has served as a notable landmark in Washington, D.C., which is a monument to the excellence of its construction and the devoted stewardship of its residents.
The Perry Belmont House may be the best, most complete example of a mansion in the Beaux Arts style in the city of Washington. Beaux Arts, which translates French “beautiful art,” is a periodical style that was popular from 1880 to 1920. It is typically associated with theatrical or grandiose design that makes use of classical features and proportions.
The majestic upper level, which is capped with a slate roof with coper trim and is highlighted with magnificent stone urns and finials, is the building’s most noticeable feature. The exterior ornamentation is reminiscent of French chateau architecture from the 15th and 16th centuries. There isn’t a more opulent place to entertain in all of Washington, DC. Its incomparable history, architecture, and exquisite interior design.
Perry Belmont House is currently being used
The structure houses the General Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star’s headquarters. On-site housing is provided for the Right Worthy Grand Secretary and his or her spouse. Tours can be scheduled in advance. Items from the Belmont era of the mansion are on display, along with gifts that chapters from all around the world donated to the headquarters.
The five Order heroines are depicted in five ceiling paintings of the Venetian Dining Room. The mansion is decorated with 37 oil paintings and numerous Tiffany vases. Perry Belmont received the Japanese four-fold teakwood screen as a gift from the Japanese Emperor.
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