The Embassy row, part of Washington DC is used to refer to a part of the US city that is home to a plethora of foreign embassies. In fact the area is so populated with foreign embassies that it clearly showcases just how dedicated the US are when it comes to maintaining good public relations.
Where are the Embassies in Washington DC Located?
The embassies are all situated on Massachusetts Avenue, and they extend from DuPont Circle all the way down towards the National Cathedral area of Washington.
How Many Embassies Are Located in Washington DC?
Amazingly the Washington DC area sports an impressive 175 embassies all of different countries. There are residences, chanceries, and heaps of diplomatic missions there too. Around half of the embassies are situated on the embassy row however, there are around 12 situated in a group near Connecticut Avenue and there are four blocks full of them around the New Hampshire area of Washington DC that stretches just off DuPont Circle. There are so many that no matter where you come from in the world, you will always feel at home in Washington DC!
What is an Embassy?
An embassy is set up to be an official mission where countries can conduct business with another country where the embassy is located. Many foreign affairs concerning the host country and the country will take place there. Many of the embassies that can be found in Washington DC are not just embassies, they are also works of art because the buildings that they are located inside are very historic and are small mansions, because many of the houses there were former row houses. You will have heard the term Embassy Row a lot when people talk about this part of Washington DC, aside from being the place where embassies are situated, the area is also a known tourist attraction for foreigners that are site seeing in the US.
History of Embassy Row
Back in the late 11th century and the early twentieth centuries, embassy row on Massachusetts Avenue became famous for the number of mansions that were located in the area. It was the place where the countries social elites lived and the area that was between Sheridan Circle and Scott Circle became known as the Millionaires Row.
Why Did The Rich Move From The Area?
The great depression is behind the reason a lot of the rich vacated their homes, many were forced to sell their properties. Because of the high number of old, classy buildings that were left behind, the government decided that the historic buildings would be great to be used as embassies. Thus, Embassy Row was founded. Some of the buildings were used to open up lodges and social clubs too. The first new builds on the row were the Embassy of Japan which was built in 1931, and the British Embassy, which was built in 1928. Both of these buildings were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.
Between the 1930s and the 70s many of the mansions that were there were replaced by apartment buildings and offices.
Do The Buildings Open to The Public?
Yes, a lot of the embassies open to the general public once a year, usually this takes places in May. This move was called Passport DC and was started way back in 2007. It was an act that was extended too other countries embassies, by the cultural tourism group in Washington DC. Despite the program that has been set up the EU embassies, open up on a different day to the other buildings that are located there. There are also a lot of charity events that take place at the embassies, this was an idea that was introduced in 1994.
The Embassy Row area of Washington DC is a protected area that remains under the Massachusetts Avenue Historic District, which was founded back in 1974. This is because at one point there were a lot of rumors flying around about demolition of the buildings. Many of the buildings there are listed underneath the DDC Inventory of Historic Sites.
One thing for sure is that if you are travelling to Washington DC, you need to take time out in your schedule to make sure that you visit the area. It is well worth taking time out to and you will get some lovely pictures of the area too whilst travelling there. Washington DC is a great city and the embassy area helps to add to the cultural values to the country.