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The Pullman House was built in 1910 for Mrs George Pullman, the wife of the the sleeping car pioneer. This magnificent French Beaux-Arts style mansion seems to have been designed to make passers-by notice the building. The huge mansard roof with its arch-topped dormer windows in the large lower slope is certainly different from anything surrounding it.
It is said that Mrs. Pullman never actually inhabited the property. It was briefly occupied by Frank Orren Lowden whilst he finished his second term as a U.S. Representative from Illinois which finished at the end of 1911. In 1913 the property was sold to the Russian government.
The building served as the Embassy of Russia (and the Soviet Union) until 1994. Since then it has been used as the official residence of the Russian Ambassador.
The building is a contributing structure to the Sixteenth Street Historic District which runs north from Lafayette Square to Meridian Hill Park in Washington DC. This 1.25 mile contains 161 buildings only 16 of which are considered to be non-contributing buildings as the were constructed after 1959 or have been significantly altered.
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