Decatur House

Decatur House is on Jackson Place on the northwest corner of Lafayette Square.  It was built for Commodore Stephen Decatur in 1819.  He used his prize money from naval conquests in the War of !812 to finance the house.  Decatur died in a duel just over a year after he moved into the house. His wife moved to Georgetown and rented out the house;  several Secretaries of State rented it.  It is now a museum owned by the National Trust.

The architect was Benjamin Latrobe, who was the first professional architect in the U.S.  Latrobe also designed part of the White House.  It was the first private residence near the White House, and is a red brick three-story townhouse in the Federal style.

The statue reflected in the glass door is on Lafayette Square, and is of Major General Wilhelm von Steuben, a Prussian who joined the American army during the Revolution.  He gave the army military instruction at Valley Forge, and commanded units in the south.