Statement of Significance (as of designation - May 11, 1976):
This block-square urban complex, its site selected by President Thomas Jefferson, is the Nation's oldest continuously active Marine Corps installation. It served as the Corps' headquarters from 1801 to 1901, and commandants have lived here since 1805. It is now the home of the Marine Band, the official White House musical unit which has played for every president since John Adams. John Philip Souza was band leader here form 1880 to 1892.