Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Little Green House on K Street

The Little Green House on K Street was a residence at 1625 K Street, NW, in Washington, DC, USA, that served as the unofficial headquarters of the Ohio Gang during the Presidential Administration of Warren G. Harding. The name itself entered the American lexicon as a symbol of political corruption. The Chicago Tribune described the home as one of "the symbols of a nation's disgrace." The house was the site of the planning for what became known as the Teapot Dome Scandal.

The house was constructed by J. B. Edmonds of Iowa, a retired attorney, in 1880 for US$17,000.

During the early 1920s, it was rented by associates of Attorney General Harry Daugherty, including Jess Smith and Howard Mannington, and served as the location for numerous Presidential poker parties. Many of the corrupt deals of Harding's associates were allegedly hatched there, according to testimony before the Senate Committee investigating the Teapot Dome Scandal.

The building was razed in 1941 to make way for the 12-story Commonwealth Building. The house became synonymous with political cronyism. In 1934, Congressman Fred Britten of Illinois famously compared the Red House on R Street in Georgetown, where the original New Dealers strategized during the early years of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration, to the Little Green House on K Street. The R Street address became known as the Brain Trust's Little Green House on K Street. During the scandal involving the extramarital affairs of Senator John Ensign and Congressman Chip Pickering in 2009, commentators frequently compared their C Street home to the Little Green House on K Street.

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