Scenes from a Visit to The Mansion on O Street

A small section of the downstairs salon

I’d wanted to return to the Mansion on O Street practically since the last time we visited a few years ago. The Dupont Circle destination is easily one of the neatest places in DC — a museum, inn, event space, and secondhand shop all in one. Four stories high and five row houses wide, there are 100 rooms, many of them open to explore.

A guest room filled floor to ceiling with art, books, accessories, and tchotchkes

And that’s just what you want to do the second you step inside. The mansion is filled literally floor to ceiling with the most eclectic collection of, well, just about everything collectible. There are autographed guitars donated by legendary musicians, iconic clothing like Audrey Hepburn’s dress from My Fair Lady and one worn by June Carter Cash when she performed with Johnny, lots of Beatles memorabilia, sets of fine china and not-so-fine dinnerware, tons of fancy silver animal head ice buckets, shelves and shelves of books, all kinds of art, toys and games… I could go on, but in a nutshell, name something random, and there’s a good chance it’s there. And the kicker: Nearly all of it is for sale!

Signed and donated by Willie Nelson and other greats

So, Sasha and I finally made it back there with some friends earlier this week, and it was a perfect activity on a really hot day. We all had a blast checking out the wild mix of items and trying to locate secret doors (!!!). Yes, there are apparently 70 of them, but we only found six during this tour. However, we chatted with Ted Spero, husband of H.H. Leonards, who owns the Mansion, and he told us their two children, who actually grew up there, never even found all of the doors.

A secret door leads to a hidden room

Even though I’ve written about the Mansion before, it’s such a wonderful, interesting place, I thought I’d share some more images of the fantastic spaces and amazing melange of items there. For more details, including logistics for visiting, see this post. For now, here’s a glimpse.

Books galore!

Like a rhino in a china shop?

Guess who’s concert tour set this came from?

Xylophone, matchbook collection, and a Peewee Herman doll… of course!

Shelves of cocktail glasses around the tub – nice touch!

June Carter Cash wore this dress!

Next time I’m buying one

Ted Spero, husband of owner HH Leonards, shows us a display of books that mention the Mansion on O

Imagine… John Lennon creepily watching you in the bathroom

The beautiful ceiling of the salon

She must have cleaned all 100 rooms


Filed under 2017, All ages, DC, Museums, Ongoing, Shop, Weekdays, Weekend

4 Responses to Scenes from a Visit to The Mansion on O Street

  1. Oh my. I love this! Imagine John Lennon watching you in the bathroom. Gold! Thanks for sharing!

    • Linda @ KidFriendly DC

      You’re welcome! These pics don’t even do it justice – it’s really something you have to experience for yourself. 🙂

  2. charmaine vistan

    Will this be a good experience for a 6 year old you think?

    • Linda @ KidFriendly DC

      Yes! The first time I took my kids there they were 4 and 7, and both had a blast (and still do several years later). Looking for the secret doors and just exploring the huge, quirky mansion is fun and exciting for all ages. If you go, I’d love to hear what you think!

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