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Chinese Embassy in DC

Recently, the closing of two consulates, got me interested in the Chinese legation and embassy in U.S. As it turns out, Qing dynasty of China had first opened its legation in Washington DC in 1875. Chen Lanbin was the first minister.

Legation, 1875-1935:

Embassy since 1935-70s

  • 1935-44, @ 2001 19th Street NW.
  • 1944-70s, 2311 Massachusetts Ave NW, Fahnestock house

Liaison, 1973-9

  • 1973-9, 2300 & 2310 Connecticut Avenue NW

Embassy 1979-present: Mr. Deng goes to DC

  • 1979, 2300 & 2310 Connecticut Avenue NW
  • 2006-present, 3505 Int’l Pl NW, within the ICC

A little details about these buildings:

Stewart’s Castle 1873-1901, ghosts of DC ⇒ ⇓

“The former home of Nevada Senator William M. Stewart, it was designed by noted architect Adolph Cluss in 1873. It also served the Chinese Legation from 1886 to 1893 and ultimately was demolished in 1901, a year after this photograph was taken.”

Apparently, the building didn’t last long.

Schneider’s home @ 18th & Q Street, NW, wiki photo

Thomas Franklin Schneider (1859-1938) was an architect who worked primary in the Washington DC area, leaving behind over 2,000 buildings.

He built this mansion in 1891 and lived there for three years. The building housed many institutions, that included Chinese legation under Wu Tingfang. It was, unfortunately, demolished in 1958. Condo the Dupont East was built in 1961 at the site, taking the address of 1545 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20036.

Gibson Fahnestock House, 2311 Massachusetts Ave NW; photo courtesy loc  ⇒

The name Fahnestock isn’t too familiar with the general public, like the Astors, Delanos, Forbes and Roosevelts but nevertheless, they were trend setters in New York and DC, left behind or associated with many institutions that are known to us: the First National Bank of New York  and Oppenheimer Fund. The lesser known such as Jay Cooke and Company, a bank in DC.

Gibson (1859-1917) was the second son of Harris C. Fahnestock (1835-1914), of Harrisburg Pennsylvania. More on their apartments and houses.

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