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History of the Casa del Soldado

The Mansion on Sixteenth St., opened in 1906, was originally owned by Mrs. Mary Foote Henderson. Since that time up to the present many colorful events have enriched the building's history, such as for example, the fact that it was used by the administration of President Roosevelt; and was occupied by the Straus family. When Straus left the cabinet, and the “Pink Palace”, as the mansion on 16th St. was called at the time, the house was later occupied by another prominent cabinet official in the government until 1910.

Subsequently, the residence was uninhabited for approximately two years. During this period, George Oakley Totten, Jr., the architect, was hired to design and build a north wing in the original style of the mansion.

Mrs. Field lived in the Pink Palace until the age of 84. After Mrs. Field's death in 1937, the house was bequeathed to her niece Catherine Spencer Hedí Beveridge, widow of Indiana Senator, Albert Beveridge.

Mrs. Beveridge, sold the property to the District of Columbia Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star in 1939.

The Order sold the Pink Palace seven years later in January 1946, to Mrs. Loraine Boley Ingersoll, wife of Dr. William Ingersoll, Washington, D.C. dentist. Mrs. Ingersoll rented the mansion to the Belgian Economic Commission for two years and later to private parties.


During the 1980s the mansion underwent a renovation that included structural repairs, the building of an annex and a change in the color from a pink exterior to an ivory façade that has remained up to the present. Since that time when it became the IADB headquarters the building acquired the name by which it is currently known as the “Casa del Soldado”, .


Four of the five entities of the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB) operate out of the Casa del Soldado. The Inter-American Defense College (IADC) is the only entity that operates outside of this facility, specifically at the FortLesley MacNair, U.S. Army Facility.