The best thing about any art form is that it provides an outlet to get your thoughts and ideas into the open. But the rewards of art don’t stop with the creative process, for art is an expression of love that has a lasting effect. This effect is felt not just in the giving and receiving, but in the telling, the creating—and in the freedom to express one’s feelings.
To support and promote this mission we created O Street Museum Foundation, for everyone to share and collaborate, within. People are often afraid to approach art (and we use the word in the broadest form to include one of the greatest forms of art, scientific discovery) because they feel inadequate and inferior to the "artist" and/or artistic creation. But as raw music (the process the artist takes before it hits the air waves) demonstrates, art is the result of hard work and devotion to the process. An artist is a spiritual carpenter and a craftsman. Everyday he goes to work, to apply and create his work.
Located in the nation’s capitol, O Street Museum Foundation is located in a series of five interconnected town houses that includes over 100 rooms and 32 secret doors.
Designed in 1892 by Edward Clark, architect for the US Capitol two centuries ago, the buildings were interconnected and served as a home for himself, his brother James “Champ” Clark, Speaker of the House (during Teddy Roosevelt’s Presidency), and a third brother, known as "the artist." Additional plans to replace the side garden with an adjoining home for their sister never came to fruition, although the archway to her house was one brick away from “being there”.
Originally spanning three row houses (it now spans five), the residence was connected through the basement and main floor and contained separate sleeping quarters for each brother upstairs. As one of the last architects working on the U.S. Capitol between the 19th & 20th century, Clark incorporated left over tiles and wood from the Capitol into his new home — rich in detail, these items and detailed woodworking by August Grass (who also worked on the Heinrich Mansion) can still be found there today. A testament to the fine craftsmanship, it is believed to be the last, virtually intact, private residence of that period in Washington, D.C.
In the 1930's the home was converted into three separate rooming houses for FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's G-men.
In the 1960's, the student leaders of the protest movement lived at 2020 O Street which is now O Street Museum Foundation. Norman Mailer wrote about them -- and the house -- in his book "Armies of the Night".
On February 14, 1980 the property was purchased by H.H. Leonards, with the intent to restore its original character by reconnecting the row houses. In 1985, nearly a century after its original construction, she transformed the garden site into a unique five-story companion annex - completing the Clarks' dream.
In the spring of 1999, Jay Bothwell— architect and neighbor of The Mansion— donated marble pieces from the Washington Monument construction project that was going on at that time. These pieces are in the back of The Mansion.
Today, the property consists of more than 100 rooms of varying architectural, artistic and design periods, from the Victorian Age to the Art Deco/Avant Garde. Highlights include hand painted ceilings (so you look up, and out of your Self), original Tiffany stained glass windows, a two-story Log Cabin and the secluded Art Deco penthouse with private elevator.
* re-use of the text of this page is permitted under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
(CC-BY-SA), version 3.0.