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The Decatur House was built in 1819 and is one of the few preserved properties of Benjamin Henry Latrobe remaining today. For those unaware, Latrobe is responsible for the impressive designs of structures such as the Saint John?s Church, the White House, and the Capitol.

The original owner of the property was Commodore Stephen Decatur, a naval officer who wished to enjoy a socially prominent life with his wife Susan in Washington. Unfortunately, the couple only had fourteen months of living together in their beautiful home before Decatur died in a gentlemen?s duel against James Brown, another commodore. In 1871, Gen. Edward F. Beale and his wife purchased the Decatur House and transformed Latrobe?s classical lines into something more Victorian in design. In 1956, the Beale family willed their property to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
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