This Federal-style rowhouse in Georgetown’s East Village has connections that trace back to the neighborhood’s early history.

The land, part of what was known as the Rock of Dumbarton, was sold to Samuel Davidson in 1797. Davidson was one of the commissioners of Georgetown and a real estate speculator who owned several properties across the city, including the land where the White House was built. He is, perhaps, best known as the original owner of Evermay, the historic Georgetown mansion.

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Georgetown rowhouse | This Federal-style rowhouse in Georgetown’s East Village has connections that trace back to the neighborhood’s early history. It is listed at $5.5 million. (HD Bros.)

When Davidson died, he left his estate to his nephew, Lewis Grant, who came to the United States from Ireland in 1797. Davidson stipulated in his will that Grant could inherit only if he agreed to change his name to Lewis Grant Davidson. Because Grant’s name change was the first by a resident of the nation’s capital, it required an act of Congress. President James Madison signed the law granting the name change.

Lewis Davidson sold the land in 1815 to Richard Smith, who built two identical three-story brick houses in 1819. Smith was the younger brother of Georgetown builders Clement and Walter Smith. He was later president of a Washington bank. He never lived at 3026 P St. NW but leased it to Vincent Smith.

In April 1857, a fire broke out on the roof of the house. Millicent Magruder, the mother of Georgetown’s mayor, William B. Magruder, lived in the house at the time. The fire destroyed her house and the houses on either side of it. Although the houses at 3026 and 3022 P Street had different owners, they were rebuilt with identical facades and enlarged.

Noteworthy residents continued to live in the house. Howard Emerson Ames, medical director of the U.S. Navy, resided there until his death in 1918. Argentine architect Bernardo Rostad bought the house in 1971 but sold it three years later to Foreign Service officers Richard and Katherine Bull.

After graduation from Princeton in 1954, Richard Bull enlisted in the Army and served in counterintelligence in Berlin. He eventually joined the Central Intelligence Agency, where he served for 31 years, with postings in Vienna, Benin, Libya, Belgium, London and Washington. He later spent two years as the liaison between the CIA and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. His wife was one of the early female field officers at the CIA.

The Bulls, who owned the house until 2010, leased it while they were on overseas assignments. During their time in Belgium, they rented it to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and his wife, Nancy.

“No, we didn’t get the Bulls posted to Brussels just so we could rent their house! They’d been gone for a while,” Nancy Kissinger told Washington Star writer Joy Billington in October 1976.

Georgetown residents were glad to have the Kissingers as neighbors, according to Washington Star gossip columnist Diana McLellan, who wrote the Ear column. She reported in 1976 that the Kissingers’ Secret Service detail caught a robber, a rapist and a cat burglar in the neighborhood while guarding the home.

The house, which has had two owners since the Bulls left, was extensively renovated by the previous owners. It has formal rooms for entertaining and a kitchen with a breakfast nook that opens to a family room. The owner’s suite has two bathrooms and a large dressing room. The bedroom and the dressing room each have a fireplace. The top level has a vaulted ceiling with exposed wood beams and a fireplace. An elevator runs to all five floors. Garage parking for two cars is nearby.

The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom, 6,280-square-foot house, which sold for $4.8 million in October 2019, is listed at $5.5 million.

Listing agent: Michael Brennan, Compass

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