The completion and grand opening of the meticulously restored Estonian Embassy in Washington, DC, was celebrated in November, emphasizing a remarkable achievement in architectural and diplomatic history. This iconic Beaux Arts-style mansion, built in 1903 and located at 2131 Massachusetts Avenue NW, has been both preserved and transformed to serve as the diplomatic hub of the Estonian government in the United States.
Our team at Quinn Evans spearheaded the project, led by architect Steven Spurlock, FAIA, LEED AP, in collaboration with Estonian interior designer Rene Safin from ARS Projekt OÜ. The extensive restoration focused on preserving the building's defining historic fabric while enhancing it to accommodate the modern functions required of a diplomatic embassy.
Our embassy here in Washington is one of our most important foreign representations, and a symbol of the friendship between our two countries. I am delighted that this historical building has been transformed in the way it has, making it, in both form and function, a true piece of Estonia on American soil.
-Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas
The exterior of the embassy underwent a sensitive restoration process, paying particular attention to the new windows and doors and intricate brick masonry detailing. Inside, the mansion has been transformed into modern Scandinavian-style spaces, marrying quintessentially American outward appearances with clean lines and openness typical of Northern Europe.
The grand opening ceremony was attended by Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Ambassador Kristjan Prikk, who expressed gratitude for the complex, long-term restoration process. Prime Minister Kallas emphasized the historical significance of the embassy, describing it as "a true piece of Estonia on American soil" and highlighting its role in Estonia's pathway to NATO membership.
Ambassador Prikk acknowledged the dedication of the project team, including project manager Michael Barnhart and site manager William Sloat of Forrester Construction, as well as the Estonian companies that played a vital role in the renovation. The embassy features artworks by Estonian artists selected through a public competition in 2021, adding a touch of Estonian culture to the elegant and high-quality interior.
The successful restoration exemplifies Quinn Evans' commitment to historic preservation, blending history with modern functionality. We are proud to contribute to the transformation of this historical building, symbolizing the enduring friendship between Estonia and the United States.
Learn more about the opening event and view more pictures here.