CHEVY CHASE, Md. (ABC7) — An estate that's entertained 20 U.S. presidents, countless members of Congress and iconic American families, including the Rockefellers, is on the market for a cool $22.5 million.
The Corby Mansion is tucked behind a stone wall along the northeast corner of Chevy Chase Circle. The nearly 14,000-square-foot property — which includes a carriage house and reflection pool — sits on a wooded two-acre lot.
“This is the crown jewel of Chevy Chase," said Daniel Heider, Vice President of TTR Sotheby's International Realty, which has the high-stakes listing. “The provenance here is just extraordinary.”
Heider's extensive research found the mansion has hosted every U.S. president since its construction, with the exception of Barack Obama and Donald Trump. The list of power brokers, foreign dignitaries, U.S. Congressional leaders and other bigwigs is as extensive as the 22-room property itself.
“It was built for grand entertaining," Heider said while standing in the sweeping ballroom. "Some of the most important people of our time, and yesteryear, have walked through these doors and celebrated in this room.”
During such political galas and soirees, chauffeurs drop their guests below the stone porte-cochère. Upon walking through the front door, a registrar collects donations and coats and logs names. Guests are then escorted to the grand ballroom or back patio to take part in the evening's lavish festivities.
The ballroom boasts 30-foot ceilings, walls lined with classic paintings, a three-story bay window with stained glass, an Aeolian pipe organ and orchestra pit. The main level also contains a foyer, parlor, clubroom, living room, dining room family room, kitchen and breakfast room.
The second and third levels house seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, theater room, exercise room, dressing rooms, two sitting rooms and an observation lounge overlooking the ballroom. The basement is unfinished.
According to documents from the Library of Congress, the Chevy Chase Land Company built the Tudor Revival during the early 1890s, using architect Leon E. Dessez's designs. Sen. Francis G. Newlands — a Democrat from Nevada who also served as the first president of the Chevy Chase Club — lived in the property from 1893 until 1898. Its assessed value at that time was $17,000.
Newlands helped found the Town of Chevy Chase. By 1900, around 50 families had moved to the planned community, which quickly gained notoriety for its pure drinking water, wide streets, shady trees, library, school, electric railway and scenic Chevy Chase Lake.
In 1909, the Chevy Chase Land Company sold the property to William D. Corby for $35,000 — hence the long-lasting nickname, Corby Mansion.
Records show Corby was heir to the Mother's Bread fortune. His daughters left the property to the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation of D.C. during the mid-1970s. The organization — which oversees the Washington National Cathedral and four other religious outfits — sold the Corby Mansion to the present owners in 1976 for $335,900.
“When you install an orchestra pit and a pipe organ in your house that can kind of gives you a little color into the personality of what Mr. Corby was like," Heider said with a smirk.
The current $22.5 million price tag is quite clearly geared toward a niche market: Collectors, entertainers, and/or the uber wealthy.
“It’s the most expensive home currently in Maryland on the market," Heider said. "It’s just something that cannot be duplicated.”
Heider explains the current owners live in the Midwest but are very private people. The estate, however, remains quite active. In fact, it hosted a VIP event earlier this week. The guest list remains off the record.
“If these walls could talk, I would say there are some pretty intimate moments here with some of America’s most important people," Heider said.