While Jeff Bezos is well known in business circles as the founder and CEO of Amazon, one of the world’s wealthiest men, it seems that he prefers to keep his personal financial transactions out of the public domain. In October 2016 what is deemed the “biggest house in Washington” was sold to a cash buyer at a premium of $1 million over the asking price. The property was bought by “Cherry Revocable Trust” which we now know to be a company owned by Jeff Bezos. So, what has the Amazon CEO bought and why did he keep it so secret?
Simple address 2320-2330 S St. NW
Even though Jeff Bezos and his wife McKenzie, together with their four children, live in the Seattle area at the moment there are no plans to relocate to the new Washington address. Indeed many believe that the new property will be nothing more than a stopping off point as and when they are in the region or perhaps when they require a break.
The simple address hides an array of history and a property which is effectively to historic mansions. Until 2013 the property housed the Textile Museum for nearly 90 years before it moved to the Washington University campus. Originally the two properties were sold together back in May 2015 for a price of $19 million although they were placed back on the market in 2016 at a price of $22 million. As we touched on above, for some reason Jeff Bezos paid $1 million over the asking price in October last year with ownership confirmed in January 2017.
The history of the Textile Museum
It may be that Jeff Bezos was forced to pay $1 million over the asking price simply to close the deal as there appeared to have been significant interest. The property has a history which goes back to 1912 when the Textile Museum was first built with founder George Hewitt Myers using the services of architect John Russell Pope. This is the man who built the Jefferson Memorial and was given the task of designing a new family home at 2320 S St.
When the adjacent mansion came onto the market a decade later, it did not take George Hewitt Myers long to close the deal. This particular property was designed by Washington architect Waddy Butler Wood and both properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Jeff Bezos plans for the future
There is no doubt that the Textile Museum is a grand building in itself offering history, character and architecture which was well before its time. It is believed that Bezos family have drawn up plans to renovate the two mansions and they are currently under review by the local Advisory Neighbourhood Commissions.
While we all know that money talks, this property has a history which goes back over 100 years. Will the local authorities simply wave through the proposed renovation plans or will they take into account their obligation to protect buildings which are a part of the local history?