Happy Birthday, Mr. President

and his post-presidency Kalorama home.

by

President wilson smiling as WWI comes to an end.

President Wilson smiling as WWI comes to an end.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of President Woodrow Wilson‘s birthday. The 28th president was the only chief executive apart from Bill Clinton to move directly from the White House to a home in Washington.

After his presidency, Wilson retired to 2340 S. Street N.W., now the capital’s only Presidential house museum, which is teeming with artifacts and is a virtual history lesson itself. Designed by sought-after Washington architect and located in Kalorama, the Georgian Revival house cost the Wilson’s $150,000 in 1921. They bought it with $50,000 the president received from the 1919 Nobel Prize and with money raised and donated by friends. His second wife, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, was independently wealthy and could have paid for it, but the president didn’t think it was right for a woman to buy a family home. Following Scottish tradition, Wilson presented her with a piece of sod from the garden and the key to the front door. She proceeded to make the handsome residence into a modern home.

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