CLEVELAND PARK WAS JUST FARMLAND WHEN GEORGE Washington decided to take a piece of Maryland for his new capital city. Construction on the new metropolis began almost immediately after the announcement, however, and Cleveland Park, located on the hills that skirted the city, suddenly became the ideal place for summer or country homes for those moving into town.
A simple farmhouse known as Rosedale was the first of several retreats to be built, and it remains at the heart of Cleveland Park today. Grover Cleveland purchased a home across the street from Rosedale in 1886 and remodeled the home for his new bride; it served as the summer White House during his presidency. Though Cleveland lived there only a short time, the area took the name of its most famous resident and its popularity soared.
Between 1894 and 1930, the area boomed, and architects and builders employed a wide variety of styles in the homes they built. So wide, in fact, that when I.M. Pei was asked to design a house in the area in 1962, he was said to have declared, “This neighborhood interests me. I don't feel the heavy hand of conformity.”
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