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A $5.5 Million Christmas Gift: The Story of Secretary MacVeagh’s Home on 16th Street NW

Secretary MacVeagh's home on 16th Street NW
This Christmas Eve, experience the story of Secretary MacVeagh's palatial home on 16th Street NW. Learn how this gift cost $5.5 million in today's dollars and discover the secret of the Kalamein iron doors.
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Here’s a great article opening. This was published on Saturday, December 24th, 1910 … Christmas Eve.

The biggest and most expensive Christmas gift that will be given in Washington this year is the palatial home in Sixteenth street, near the intersection of Columbia road, which Mrs. Franklin MacVeagh is building as a holiday gift to her husband, the Secretary of the Treasury.

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Mrs. MacVeagh’s secret was jealously guarded for months. Only two persons were let into the secret of her purpose to give the house to her husband this Christmas–the architect, Nathan C. Wyeth, and Corcoran Thom, trust officer of the American Security and Trust Company, but the secret leaked out and the Christmas package was opened before the appointed day.

Okay, that’s a pretty sweet Christmas present. The present still stands today at 2829 16th St. NW, currently the home for the Mexican Cultural Institute.

Secretary MacVeagh's home on 16th Street NW
Secretary MacVeagh’s home on 16th Street NW

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