The Christians sold out to the Moslems recently when the ambassador of Oman purchased a $1.5 million residence at 2000 24th St. NW from the Christian Embassy, Inc.
The 18th century French-style property was once called the Chase mansion, after its former owners Mr. and Mrs. G. Howland Chase. They sold it to their alma maters, Princeton University and Bryn Mawr College, after trying unsuccessfully to donate it to the government as a residence for the Chief Justice.
In 1974 the Catholic Church bought it for $525,000 as a private residence for its archbishop in Washington, Cardinal William W. Baum. One day after the public announcement, the archdiocese issued a statement saying the archbishop had changed his mind when protests about such an oppulent residence were received from both clergy and lay Catholics. One priest even fasted for 25 days to protest.
Two years later the archbishop bought a less pretentious residence in Spring Valley and sold the Chase mansion for $550,000 to the Christian Embassy, an offshoot of the Campus Crusade for Christ. The role of the embassy and its staff, according to its leader, was to "minister to members of the Executive branch, the Congress, the judiciary, the military and the diplomatic corps and their families."
The venture was backed by 20 anonymous businessmen who contributed $50,000 each to pay for the staff of 12, a downpayment on the property and a complete refurnishing of the masion. The Christian Embassy has now moved to Northern Virginia.
Ambassador Farid Mbarak Ali al-Hinai, who previously lived at 2903 44th St. NW, will be living in a 48-year old mansion. It has six bedrooms, five marble baths, panneled drawing room, library, dining room seating 50 people, and family room. The sale was handled by Beatrice Allen of Panorama Real Estate.