What’s so special about Kalorama, the Washington, D.C. locale that in recent weeks has added the Obama family, Jeff Bezos, and Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to the ranks of its residents?
“Spectacular ‘period’ turn-of-the-century architecture and grand city homes,” says local realtor Mark McFadden, whose firm had the listing for the Obamas’ new house. “It’s home to leaders of industry, major philanthropists, politicos, ambassadors, sports team owners, and more, and is within walking distance of restaurants and art galleries.”
Here are eight things to know about the neighborhood.
1. It’s full of distinguished old houses.
Like this 1930 Federal Revival property, on the market for $5.75 million. Like many Kalorama homes, it has plenty of space for entertaining. Take, for example, its a tiger-maple paneled library and a wood-burning fireplace-equipped living room that opens into a conservatory with floor-to-ceiling-windows on three sides.
2. The name has Greek origins.
In 1802 Joel Barlow, an author and diplomat, purchased the area’s single estate, Belair. Barlow renamed it Kalorama—Greek for “beautiful view.” The area remained rural until the late 19th century, when developers began adding large homes like the ones you find there today.
3. There are 28 embassies.
4. And ambassadors’ residences, like this one, which belongs to the top French diplomat.
You can take a virtual tour of it here.
5. It’s one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the nation’s capital.
According to Zillow, the median home value in Kalorama is $1.3 million (compared to $530,200 for Washington, D.C. as a whole). Properties currently for sale there range from a one-bedroom condominium ($379,000) to an historic five-bedroom house ($7.9 million).
6. While it’s a quiet, primarily residential locale, it’s not far from the action of buzzier neighborhoods.
Kalorama is bordered by Woodley Park, Adams Morgan, Foggy Bottom, Georgetown, and Dupont Circle, and only a 13-minute drive from the White House.
7. It actually comprises two neighborhoods: Kalorama Triangle and Sheridan-Kalorama (also known as Kalorama Heights).
8. It’s been home to former presidents for quite some time.
Barack Obama is actually the sixth U.S. president to live there; Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Warren Harding, and Herbert Hoover all called the neighborhood home at some point in the early 20th century. (Wilson was the only other president to move there immediately after leaving the White House.)
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