Few houses can claim that an emperor, a king and a president slept there. This stately Italianate mission-style home in the Sheridan-Kalorama neighborhood of Northwest Washington can.

From its very beginning, the home hosted Washington’s social and political elites. Charles Doolittle Walcott, the fourth secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, commissioned noted architect George Oakley Totten Jr. and his partner, Laussat Rogers, to design the home circa 1904-1905.

Walcott was a distinguished paleontologist who served as Smithsonian secretary for 20 years until his death in 1927. He and his first wife, Helen, held a dinner for Vice President Thomas Marshall and his wife at the home. Walcott’s second wife, Mary Vaux Walcott, was a close friend of President Herbert Hoover’s wife, Lou. Mary Walcott, a Quaker and celebrated painter of wildflowers, bought land near the home to build a Friends Meeting House.

Wayne Chatfield-Taylor bought the house in 1932 and lived there until 1954. Taylor was the undersecretary of commerce from 1940 to 1945 and president of the Export-Import Bank from 1945 to 1946.

Distinguished homes for sale in the D.C. region

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22941 Foxcroft Rd., Middleburg, Va. (Roman Caprano/Sky Blue Media)

Ambassador George W. Renchard Jr. and wife Stellita Stapleton Renchard were the third owners of the home, living there from 1954 until their untimely deaths in 1982. The Renchards died in a traffic accident in Saudi Arabia while visiting their son. A career foreign service officer, Renchard was stationed in Turkey, Ceylon, Canada, France, Germany, Austria and Holland. He was named ambassador to Burundi in 1968.

While he was U.S. consul general at Bermuda, Renchard leased the home to the U.S. government to serve as a temporary guest house while Blair House was redecorated. Among the visiting dignitaries to stay there were Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, the king and queen of Afghanistan, the president of Bolivia and the prime minister of Ireland. Renchard later rented the home to Irish Ambassador William Fay.

The Renchards were noted preservationists, saving several historical buildings in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. The Renchard Prize for historical preservation is named for the couple. Some of their preservation efforts wound up in the home, such as the raised wood paneling in the sitting room, the French regency doors and the ornately carved doorway to the second-floor master suite made of wood from the Black Forest.

The current owners, just the fourth, have lived there since 1983. During their more than three decades in the home, they have expanded the living space to nearly 12,000 square feet, creating a solarium that connects the main house to a carriage house. The three-level carriage house design was honored with a distinctive residential architecture award by the Washington chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1986.

They hired artist Malcolm Robson, whose work can be seen in the U.S. Capitol, Buckingham Palace and Mount Vernon, to create elegant and whimsical faux paintings on walls throughout the home. They turned the entrance to the kitchen into a Chinese moon gate.

For all its grandeur, what sets this home apart may be the fifth-floor gazebo and rooftop terrace with its panoramic views of Washington. Kalorama is derived from the Greek word for “fine view,” and no finer view can be found in the city.

The eight-bedroom, eight-bathroom home is listed at $5.995 million.

Listing agents: Kerry Fortune Carlsen and Kira Epstein, Washington Fine Properties