Originally a private residence, the Gibson Fahnestock mansion was completed in 1910. The semidetached building was designed in the 18th century French manner. Finely crafted academic details are combined to form a scheme that is harmonious and crisply delineated. The architect was an American, Nathan C. Wyeth, who is best known for designing the West Wing of the White House, creating the first Oval Office. He designed a large number of structures in Washington, D.C., including the Francis Scott Key Bridge over the Potomac River, the USS Maine Mast Memorial, the D.C. Armory, the Tidal Basin Inlet Bridge, many structures that comprise Judiciary Square, and numerous private homes—many of which now serve as embassies. He also co-designed the Cannon House Office Building, the Russell Senate Office Building, the Longworth House Office Building, and an addition to the Russell Senate Office Building.
Its Louis XVI exterior and interior designs, as well as the notable work of prominent Haitian artists displayed throughout, charm all who walk through its regal doors. Today, the edifice is owned by the Government of Haiti and used as the office space for two diplomatic missions (the Embassy of Haiti and the Permanent Mission of Haiti to the Organization and American States (OAS). In addition to serving as a museum exhibiting Haiti’s finest art, the Chancery also accommodates an exhibit showcasing the significant contributions of renowned Americans of Haitian descent. It also serves as an event space hosting activities which highlight the country’s dynamic culture and exceptional history. Today, the Chancery has established itself as one of the most visited on Embassy Row.
Historical preservation is embedded in Haiti’s legacy and identity as the first black republic in the world. Haiti has been committed to maintaining its iconic landmarks such as La Citadelle Laferrière and Palais Sans Souci, which are key symbols of the republic’s importance as a beacon of freedom. It is in that same spirit of preservation that the Chancery has undergone renovations since 2012 to protect the building’s historic nature and exhibit its timeless elegance.
Guided tours are available Monday through Friday from 10:00 am – 4:30pm