Historic Georgetown - InfoBarrel

Dumbarton Oaks

1703 32nd St, NW.


In 1703, a Scottish colonist named Ninian Beall was granted around 800 acres of land in this area. In later years the land was sold off and in 1801, 22 acres were bought by Senator William Dorsey of Maryland, who proceeded to build a Federal-style brick home here. A year later, financial difficulties caused him to sell it, and over the next century the property changed hands many times.

By the time pharmaceutical heirs Robert and Mildred Woods Bliss bought the rundown estate in 1920, it was overgrown and neglected.

The Blisses altered and expanded the house, with the architectural advice of the prestigious firm