Embassy of Peru in the USA - Chancery History

Embassy of Peru in the USA - Chancery facade
Chancery history
Originally a private residence, this semi-detached building, subtly designed in the 16th-century manner of Italian classicism, is related to the intersection of 17th Street and Massachusetts Avenue by an entrance facade set diagonally to the two principal street elevations. Special attention is drawn to the 17th-century English interior details, such as on the stair, paneling, and doors.
Original and subsequent owners
  • In 1859, the first owner of the building was Mr. Haller Kilbourn. He sold the property to Timothy Gannon for the sum of twelve hundred and fifty (1,250) dollars. City directories and building permits indicate that a grocery store with the address 1700 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, was located there between 1873 and 1899.
  • Mrs. Emily J. Wilkins, widow of Beriah Wilkins, bought the property in 1908 and applied for a building permit in 1909. Jules Henri de Sibour was the architect in charge of the construction. He also designed the French Embassy (2221 Kalorama Road, NW), the Moore Residence (Canadian Chancery, 1746 Massachusetts Avenue, NW), and the Stewart Residence (Embassy of Luxembourg, 2200 Massachusetts Avenue, NW). Mrs. Wilkins died the year of its completion, leaving the residence and its furnishing to her son John. F. Wilkins. 
  • The building was begun in the spring of 1909 and completed in June 1910.
  • Decades later, in 1946, the M.R. Corporation sold the building to His Majesty George VI, in the right of the Commonwealth of Australia.
  • In 1971, the reception room on the ground floor, and the library and the drawing room both on the first floor, were partitioned for offices. 
Offices of the Ambassador and the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM)
On the second floor of the building, there are the offices of the Ambassador and the DCM.   
At the Ambassador’s office, going upstairs from the first floor to the right, you will find a colonial painting of an archangel with a harquebus, from the Cusco School. This representation is very popular in southern Peru, especially in the high plateau region (Puno). Likewise, there are two recently acquired contemporary masterpieces: a photograph from a Peruvian artist of Quechua origin, Inti Pachurin, and a painting from a Peruvian artist of Huitoto origin, Rember Yahuarcani. Both showcased their artworks at the Embassy’s Art Gallery, in 2022. 
Next to the Ambassador’s office, there’s the DCM’s office. There you will encounter a colonial painting of Saint John Baptist, from the Cusco School, as well as many Peruvian Pre-Columbian ceramics from the Moche, Chancay, and Inca cultures.