The Embassy / History of the Premises


The Embassy of the Republic of Congo to the United States of America is located in the Tutorsky Mansion, a beautiful and imposing 5-story, dark red brick house. The 12,000 square-foot mansion was inspired by a rare French Renaissance architecture and was built in 1894 for U.S Supreme Court justice, Henry Brown. As of 2012, the building has 18 rooms and 12,000 square feet of space. There are front and rear parlors, a dining hall for 12, and varying sizes of beautiful chandeliers. The Tutorsky Mansion is famous for having provided shelter for some of the most significant decisions in American history. During his stay at this house, Justice Brown wrote the Plessy V. Ferguson decision (1896), which upheld racial segregation. Brown lived in the house until his death in 1913. William Henry Miller, the first graduate of Cornell University’s architecture school in 1872, remodeled the building after a Flemish inspired theme.

The interior of the Embassy features Renaissance, Gothic, Elizabethan, Jacobean and Colonial origins. The building served as the Persian legation in 1927 and then as headquarters of the American Zionist organization from 1942-1947, when it was purchased by Henry and Maria Toutorsky. Henry Toutorsky directed the “ Toutorsky Academy of Music” in this building for 40 years, composing and teaching. In 1988, the mansion was donated to the Peabody Conservatory of Music, which is part of Johns Hopkins University. It was later sold to endow a scholarship fund and piano study. More recently, the owners partnered with Open Kitchen to host some cooking classes and culinary events. Humberto Gonzales purchased the building in 2001 to run it as bed-and-breakfast inn and an event venue. In September 2011, the building became the location of the Embassy of the Republic of Congo to the United States of America, Canada and Mexico.

This magnificent mansion is a contributing structure to the 16th Street Historic district.