Just down the street from the French ambassador’s residence and around the corner from where the Obamas reportedly will live next year, this 1930 federal revival has been home to many of Washington’s elite. Among its distinguished residents include high-ranking government officials, an ambassador, a senator, relatives of the Mellons and Vanderbilts, the director of the National Gallery of Art, and a prominent art collector.

Records indicate the house was probably constructed by the same real estate development firm that built the home where the Obamas are expected to live post-presidency. Architect John J. Whelan came to Washington in 1926 and established a partnership with his Princeton classmate F. Moran “Mike” McConihe. The two men specialized in building luxurious homes and embassies, including for Norway and South Africa. During the 1920s, they played a major role in the development of the Kalorama neighborhood in Northwest Washington.

The first known resident of the home was Harvey Bundy, an assistant secretary of state in the Hoover administration and later a special assistant to the war secretary in World War II. He was the father of McGeorge Bundy and William P. Bundy.


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Marc Peter and his wife moved into the home in 1933. He was the Swiss minister in Washington for 19 years, and she was one of the city’s top hostesses. “Under her care, the legation at 6 Kalorama Circle became a virtual museum of Swiss painting, china, pewter and glassware,” the Washington Star wrote in her 1966 obituary.

Sen. James J. Davis moved his family into the home in 1942. After serving as labor secretary under three presidents (Harding, Coolidge and Hoover), Davis represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate from 1930 to 1945.

Alfons B. Landa, who was featured in Diana B. Henriques’s expose “The White Sharks of Wall Street,” and his second wife, Laura Consuelo Morgan, lived there until 1953. Morgan was the sister of Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt. David Michael Mountbatten, the marquess of Milford Haven and second cousin to King George VI, stayed with them at the home before his wedding in 1950.

When Constance Mellon Byers, whose father was a first cousin to philanthropist Paul Mellon, and her husband, William Byers, lived there, they hired Sister Parish to decorate it. Parish is best known for decorating the private family quarters in the White House, including the Yellow Oval Room, during the Kennedy years.


After the Byers divorced, Constance wed J. Carter Brown III, director of the National Gallery of Art, in 1971. She stayed in the home after their divorce in 1973.

Glenn C. Randall, owner of G. Randall Fine Art Gallery at Washington’s Four Seasons Hotel, bought the house in 1979. He sold it to the current owner, Aaron Fleischman, in 1988 for $3.25 million, the third-highest residential sale in the city that year. Recently retired, Fleischman was a lawyer whose firm Fleischman and Harding (formerly Fleischman and Walsh) was absorbed by Edwards Angell Palmer and Dodge in 2011. ArtNews listed him as one of the world’s top art collectors in 2009.

The four-level house with a rooftop deck, terraced garden and attached four-car garage, went on the market in April for $6.4 million but was reduced to $5.75 million in June.

Listing agent: Michael Rankin, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty