The Morrison House was originally built in 1864 by a wealthy DC merchant named David Morrison who made his money during the Civil War by selling feed and flour to the Union Army. The Clark House, built by Ruben B. Clark, was also built in 1864. Clark made his fortune through investments, owning a grocery, and being the director of the Anacostia and Potomac River Railroad and well as the DC Jail Commissioner.
Later on, the Women’s Army and Navy League took ownership of the Morrison House and combined it with the adjacent Clark House to create a haven for enlisted soldiers and officers. Today’s Morrison-Clark Historic Inn marries beautiful, historic architecture with modern design to pay homage to the original buildings’ storied pasts. Immersed in the vibrant culture of downtown you’ll find a truly unique DC hotel experience that celebrates new and old.
Morrison and Clark were identical townhomes until 1876 when the Morrison House was expanded to border 11th Street and given a new facade. The houses, still separate at the time, became home to congressmen, military officers and the Washington elite for decades. A Chinese-inspired room was added to the two-story porch of the Morrison by one of its owners in 1917.
The head of the Women’s Army and Navy League was traditionally the First Lady of the United States. The presidential wives would then host teas and fundraisers to help maintain the facility. A few first ladies of note who helped the League were Grave Coolidge, Mamie Eisenhower, and Jacqueline Kennedy.
The two houses were combined by the League in the 1930s and became known as the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen’s Club and hosted not only the rank and file of the US armed forces but also the likes of Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Mrs. Admiral Dewey, and General John J. “Blackjack” Pershing.
In 1987 the Morrison Clark Inn opened and included an addition the north side of the Morrison house that wrapped around the rear of the site, creating a courtyard behind the Clark House. The five-story building opened with 42 rooms, replacing a 19th-century stable. William Adair, the man who oversaw the restoration, was also in charge of the great restoration of White House between 1949 and 1952. He made sure that preserving the historic exterior and many of the interior details of the building, including four pier mirrors and Italian Carrera marble fireplaces, were a priority.