As a young couple, Fitzgerald's parents had lived at 548 Portland Avenue in what is known as the Bookstaver Row House. Designed by Gilbert and Taylor in 1888, the building is a good example of a Romanesque row house: simplicity in brick and brownstone, unity in its second floor round arched windows, and variety in its dormers.
Edward and Mollie met in Washington, D.C. when the McQuillan family wintered there. Fitzgerald's parents can be described as opposites. His father, Edward Fitzgerald, a dapper outsider with southern sympathies, was born near Rockville, Maryland, of an aristocratic but poor family – one member being the famous Francis Scott Key of “Star Spangled Banner” fame.