Mapping Georgetown: Valentine’s Love and the Georgetown House Tour

Happy Happy Valentine’s Day! Could Maya Angelou have had Washington, D.C. in mind when she gifted us this sweet quote: “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious, the desire to reach hearts is wise!”

In this Mapping Georgetown tale, a love story of many sorts — a couple, a house, a neighborhood and a legend.

Daniel Chao and Jeff Berkowitz have generously offered their home on 31st Street as part of the 90th year of the upcoming Georgetown House Tour.

Daniel and Jeff’s Mapping Georgetown Story

Daniel is blessed and delighted to call Georgetown home, where he and his husband Jeff enjoy walking off calories consumed from the countless local food options. Daniel fell in love with D.C. and Georgetown when he first arrived from Texas in the summer of ’97 to intern for a congressman on Capitol Hill.  After 24 years in the House of Representatives–16 years as a chief of staff — he now serves as the Director of Senior Congressional Leadership where he and his colleagues coach and train House Staff and Member offices on how best to operate and effectively serve their constituents.  

Daniel and Jeff’s home has soul as you can imagine in this description of the relationship of house and home and the previous owner.

Dr. Norma Evenson, architect, urban historian and prize winning author of architecture and urban planning books and published papers about Paris, Brazil and India lived in 1968 on 31st St. for almost 3 decades from 1993 to 2021. We first met Dr. Evenson when we toured the house as one of several interested buyers.  She was in her early 90s at that time and it was quite impressive to see how quickly she maneuvered up 3 flights of stairs to observe and listen to our conversations with her realtor about how we would restore this grand 5-level Victorian.  We knew she loved the home and wanted the next homeowners to appreciate and preserve the interior architecture, the unique bay windows, original crown moldings, stairs, and wood as much as she did.  In many ways, we did not select this home; she and the home picked us as the next resident.  We happily inherited a handful of items that accentuate the height and space of the rooms, such as a couple of floor to ceiling mirrors, tables, etc.  Sadly Dr. Evenson passed June of 2021.  We are very grateful she autographed and wrote a kind note in my copy of her fascinating book on Paris’ architecture after we closed on the home.  

To learn more about the Mapping Georgetown project, visit

To submit your Georgetown recollections to Mapping Georgetown, visit  or visit the Georgetown Public Library to pick up a physical map-story form to fill out.

Marilyn Butler can be reached at

More about the Georgetown House tour at



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