The Code Breaker’s Cottage

image from: https://www.washingtonpost.com

image from: https://www.washingtonpost.com

A lady named Ann Caracristi lived at this pre-Revolutionary War era cottage on 1222 28th St, Washington, D.C. for 65 years up until she passed away in January 2016 at the age of 94.

 

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

But she was not just any old woman. No, Ann Caracristi was actually a master code-breaker during the Cold War Era and the first female deputy director of the National Security Agency.

What?

Yes it’s true, this diminutive red cottage was home to one of America’s top spy directors – and she was a SHE.

Ann Caracristi

image from: http://www.devolfuneralhome.com/Funerals-and-Obituaries-in-Washington-DC/Ann-Zeilinger-Caracristi

image from: http://www.devolfuneralhome.com/

Which remarkable in its own right.

Her Georgetown home just hit the market and is being sold ‘as-is’ – with everything in it.

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

The house was reportedly built by a British sea captain sometime in the 1700s.

Look at those hand-hewn ceiling beams – there is speculation that they might be from a ship that ran aground over 200 years ago. One of the beams above the fireplace has the year 1721 carved into it!

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

Many of the house’s historic features remain untouched — the Belgian tiles below the hearth, the hand-blown window glass, and the wide plank flooring.

The heirs of Ms. Caracristi decided to sell this historic home and everything in it – including Ann’s book collection and her prized pewter collection.

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

This is incredible – remember: she lived here for 65 years during a glorious ground-breaking career which spanned from the Second World War and much of the Cold War years.

Ann Caracristi was a recipient of the Defense Department’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award and the National Security Medal.

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

According to the Washington Post, “Caracristi was one of the highest ranking and most honored women at the NSA. Caracristi was recruited out of college to work at the Signal Intelligence Service, a precursor to the NSA. She retired from the agency in 1982.”

She never married or had any children.

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

Ann’s mini saltbox style home is only 1,051 square feet.

For the most part, the house remains in its original layout except for a newer back addition of a kitchen that Caracristi added in 1985.

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

The original tiny kitchen was converted into a laundry room and half bath. The old kitchen cabinetry was kept intact:

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

The cottage has only one bedroom on the upper level – but has two bathrooms, one up, and the main floor half bath. Perfect for a couple or a single person who might want to nest cozily in the midst of the Washington craziness and enjoy the history – maybe even crack a few codes.

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

Caracristi’s former home and all of its contents are on the market for $865,000.

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

Truly, I think this place should be turned into a tribute museum.

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

Perhaps it is the voyeur in me, but I think it is absolutely fascinating to see all of Ann Caracristi’s stuff in situ.

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

The books, the bedding, the little trinkets.

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

Look at the avocado green phone! Did President Nixon call her on that phone?

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

The cozy home sits on a lot that is only .026 acres, but big enough to have a small private backyard.

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

image from: http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/

In honor of Ms. Ann Caracristi – who shuffled around this cottage for 65 years doing untold noble acts for the famed American spy agency – I would like to rename this house : The Code Breakers Cottage.

Sources:

http://realestate.washingtonpost.com/eng/sales/detail/299-l-3599-dc9572714/1222-28th-st-nw-georgetown-washington-dc-20007

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1222-28th-St-NW-Washington-DC-20007/428710_zpid/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/where-we-live/wp/2016/02/26/little-red-cottage-is-a-cozy-secret-tucked-away-in-georgetown/?tid=pm_realestate_pop_b

 

 

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