My Favorite DC Hidden Gem #2

Hello Friends! 

Here is another hidden gem I didn’t even know existed. The Heurich House Museum, also known as the Christian Heurich Mansion or Brewmaster’s Castle. The 31-room mansion was built from 1892-1894 for Christian Heurich, a self-made businessman who immigrated from Germany to America in 1866.  Heurich was recognized as Washington DC’s most successful brewer and a generous philanthropist.

In 1872, Christian Heurich and a partner purchased the Old Schnell Brewery and Tavern that was located 20th Street NW between M and N Streets. He soon was able to buy out his partner’s share and expanded his facility. In 1892, a fire caused by an explosion from the malt mill swept through his facility; this was the third fire since 1875. In 1894 he decided to build a new and larger fireproof brewery by the Potomac River at 26th and D Street.

During the same time he was building his new brewery, he also had a large mansion that was built in Dupont Circle.  The mansion was the first fireproof house in the Washington, DC, built out of reinforced steel and concrete. The house incorporated the most modern technology of its time. Some features include full indoor plumbing, circulating hot water, heat, a central vacuum system, elevator shaft, pneumatic and electric communication systems, combination gas and electric lighting fixtures, and if that weren’t enough, he also found time to incorporate 15 carved fireplaces (even though none were ever used). 

Heurich lived in “The Brewmaster’s Castle” until his death in 1945, at age of 102. Two Heurich grandchildren then purchased the home and helped establish the non-profit Heurich House Foundation that operates the museum today.

HH Museum provides Private Tours, Event Rental, and School Tours.

*The public tours are free but a donation of $10 per person is suggested.

*The Castle Garden is open to the public Monday– Friday from 9am -5pm.

*For the beer fans I recommend the “History and Hops”, a monthly tour where visitors can have a beer while learning a bit of history and touring this  amazing house.

What would you recommend a tourist to do in your city?

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