All Thats Left Is Louis Quinze. No Bootleggers (or Gardeners) At The Cuban Embassy Today, Washington, D.C.
Within the once untouchable stomping grounds of Mary Foote Henderson, the Cuban Legation (now the Cuban Embassy) took root in Meridian Hill between 1916 and 1917 as their lavish, Louis XV headquarters building was designed and constructed between Euclid and Fuller Streets on Sixteenth Street, NW, Washington, D.C.
Tid bits about the building were reported in the Washington Post in November 1916:
“Dwelling, said to be for the Cuban legation, location to be given out later; cost, $175,000. The ‘structure’ will be three stories high, 60 by 100 feet, and of stone and brick.”
The “opening of bids” was announced in the Washington Post on November 16, which mentions that “the first floor…will contain a chancery and offices…the second, reception rooms, dining room and a spacious ballroom…” There was also a mention of “…beautiful gardens…flanking the building…,” a feature long ago neglected by the Cubans. The Louis Quinze building was designed by Macneil & Macneil, architects, commissioned by Dr. Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, the Cuban Minister at the time. The building was completed in 1917.
We know about the building details and that bootleggers in Washington certainly got their Cuban liquors. We also know that the building was definitely Louis Quinze style. The only thing we don’t know is who fired the “formal gardener?”