The Society is headquartered at Tillar House, a stately mansion along Washington, DC's embassy row, left to the Society in 1959 by Genevieve Tillar, widow of Benjamin Johnston Tillar. Fully renovated in 2002, Tillar House encompasses the Society's deFord Library and its 20,000-volume collection; gracious and versatile conference facilities in the form of the Hauser Learning Center and Howard M. Holtzmann Room; and office space for the Society's 15-person staff, its international law fellows, and ASIL interns. Visit the Society's calendar for information about upcoming Tillar House events.
The Society hosts dozens of public and private briefings, seminars, educational programs, and social events each year at Tillar House. ASIL members enjoy borrowing privileges at Tillar House's deFord Library, and all are welcome to visit when they are in Washington, DC.
In 1959, ASIL acquired a permanent home when Genevieve Tillar, widow of Benjamin Johnston Tillar, gave her stately residence on Sheridan Circle, the heart of Washington's Embassy Row, to the Society for use as its headquarters. Then ASIL President Charles Martin presided at the dedication of Tillar House on April 28, 1961. The ceremony included speeches by the Honorable John J. McCloy and Professor Myers S. McDougal, the participation of descendants of four Society founders, and the reading of a letter sent by then President John F. Kennedy.
With a permanent home at Tillar House, came the Society's first-ever full-time executive director, H.C.L. Merillat, and the establishment of the Society's library, today, the deFord Library, home to more than 20,000 volumes. The stately mansion quickly became a one-of-a-kind venue for public events and educational programming for the international law community.
In the late 1990s, the Society leadership determined that Tillar House was an asset not only worth keeping but also worth improving. A capital campaign, led by Judge Charles N. Brower, successfully raised $2 million to dramatically remodel the house, creating much improved meeting and research space for the public and work-space for the ASIL staff. The renovated Tillar House was rededicated in November 2002, with a distinguished panel on terrorism, followed by a reception for campaign and ASIL leaders, including the presence of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and prestigious honors to Judge Brower, Judge Stephen Schwebel, James Carter, William D. Rogers, and Rita E. Hauser. In the same way that a letter from President Kennedy had been read to the assembled guests at Tillar House's dedication in April 1961, a letter from President George W. Bush was read on the occasion of Tillar House's rededication.