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Mayor's Mansion Debate Collection

Identifier: 129

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of correspondence, in the form of emails, faxes, and letters. Additional materials include: reports, testimonies, maps, copies of deeds, and appraisals from both government agencies, and private citizens.


  • Creation: 2001-2003


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Use

No known restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

The Mayor’s Mansion Debate Collection documents a proposed track of land which was to be donated to Washington, DC by Mrs. Eugene Casey. The donation included the stipulation that the property be designated specifically for use as the mayor’s official residence. While many local residents and government officials were appreciative of the proposed gift, responses to the proposed donation remained mixed. Among the concerns raised by residents and city officials was the financing to cover costs of maintenance; issues of providing security to the property; whether the city and National Park Service should engage in a proposed land-swap; and whether moving the mayor’s residence to Georgetown would create the perception of elitism.

The debate over accepting the proposed gift remained undecided, and in late 2003, the Casey Foundation ultimately withdrew the offer, and donated the land to the Salvation Army.

In the aftermath, Howard Bray, a local resident who was actively engaged in the debate, submitted a request for inter-office correspondence and reports through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the National Park Service, Washington City Council, and the Mayor’s Office.


1.67 Linear feet

4 Boxes


Series 1: Donating Party
Series consists of materials documenting individuals who either worked with, or represented Mrs. Eugene Casey, the donor of the proposed mansion. As her legal representative, Richard Carr corresponded frequently with city officials, and authorized an appraisal of the proposed site, which was conducted by Harps and Harps, Inc.

Series 2: Government
Series consists of folders dedicated to the local government agencies involved in the decision-making process for the proposed mansion.

Series 3: Neighborhood Groups and Committees
Series consists of folders dedicated to individuals, committees, and neighborhood groups who worked closely with the city government, National Park Service, and Casey Foundation. Their goal was to determine whether the creation of the proposed mayor’s mansion was in the best interests of the impacted neighborhood and community.

Series 4: Public Response
This series consists of folders which focus on the general public response to the proposed mayor’s mansion. Materials include records of a public hearing,press documents, and correspondence).

Custodial History

Howard Bray donated this collection, which he acquired from several government agencies and non-profit groups under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Processing Information

Standard archival procedures were used at the time of processing.

Mayor's Mansion Debate Collection
An inventory of Mayor's Mansion Debate Collection at DC Public Library
Finding aid prepared by Sharad J. Shah.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001