Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought a former museum in Washington, DC, last year, and plans to convert it into a single family home, according to the Washington Post.
The online retail billionaire and Forbes Magazine-ranked second-richest American reportedly paid $23 million for the former Textile Museum in October 2016. The property, located in the upscale Kalorama neighborhood, is allegedly the largest house in the US capital. Bezos can count many of the American political elite, including the Obamas and Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner, among his new neighbors.
But it’s not only the size and location of the 27,000-square-foot property that’s impressive: it also boasts a fantastic architectural provenance. In 1912, Textile Museum founder George Hewitt Myers contracted acclaimed architect John Russel Pope, designer of the Jefferson Memorial, to build the house. Ten years later Myers also acquired the adjacent mansion, which was designed by esteemed DC architect Waddy Butler Wood, for his museum.
Since the collection moved to the campus of George Washington University in 2013, the former museum has remained unoccupied. Both buildings were sold for $19 million in 2015, and flipped a year later for $23 million to an anonymous buyer revealed by the Post to be Bezos.
The former Textile Museum in Kalorama, Washington DC.
The billionaire seems to have been very anxious to own the former museum, paying a reported $1 million over the asking price in a bid to ensure that his offer was accepted by the seller.
Although the entrepreneur has business interests in the DC area, having acquired the Washington Post in 2013, Amazon remains Bezos’s priority, according to the Seattle Times. Reportedly, he bought the property primarily to function as an East Coast base and space to entertain guests, not because of any intention of taking a greater leadership role in his media interests.
The billionaire’s plans to convert the properties into a 10-bedroom, 14-bathroom mansion are currently awaiting approval by the Advisory Neighborhood Commission. Both buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Bezos’s property portfolio also includes a state-of-the-art $69.9 million estate in the Seattle suburb of Medina.