Grande Dames of Embassy Row

Evalyn Walsh McLean Cissy Patterson Mabel Boardman portraits WASHINGTON WALKS

Meet the women who personified a gilded era in Washington, D.C. History

Now a stately enclave of foreign chanceries and ambassadorial residences, Massachusetts Avenue’s Embassy Row originally was home to Washington’s Gilded Age elite. Grande dames were the engines that powered the mansions and social clubs of this and subsequent eras.

See the homes and hear the stories of remarkable women such as:

  • Cissy Patterson, scion of a publishing fortune, became America’s first big-city female editor.
  • Mabel Boardman turned Clara Barton’s American Red Cross into a humanitarian colossus.
  • Evalyn Walsh McLean didn’t believe the curse of the Hope Diamond, until she lived it.
  • Marjorie Akers Phillips, an accomplished painter who with her husband Duncan, amassed an unparalleled art collection.
  • Isabel Weld Perkins Anderson used her inheritance to aid Belgium refugees, support the American Red Cross, and fund the construction of Washington National Cathedral.
  • And others!

The walk includes an opportunity to tour Anderson House, the mansion Isabel Anderson bequeathed to the Society of the Cincinnati for its national headquarters.


Guides that may lead this tour: 
Portrait of Martin

MARTIN has been enchanted by the city of Washington since arriving in 1980 to pursue a government career in economics. He found he enjoyed pounding the sidewalks of the city as much as crunching numbers and began leading special interest tours for friends and community groups.

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Saturday March 12, 2023 at 1:00 p.m.

Also available for private and group tour bookings. Please email for more information.

Approximately 2 hours
Available for private bookings.

$35 per person

Walk departs from Dupont Circle Metro station's Dupont South exit
Questions? Answers here.

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