September 19, 2013

A Visit To Dumbarton Oaks In Washington DC

On Tuesday, I traveled to Washington DC for an evening event.  Traveling with me was Ellen Morrissey, MSLO VP, Editorial Director.  Ellen works closely with me on all of our book projects.  After arriving in Washington, we had some time to spare, so we paid a visit to Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown, the former home and gardens of Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss.  After purchasing the land in 1920, the Blisses hired Beatrix Farrand, one of the first woman landscape architects, to design the property.  Farrand designed the grounds at Princeton and Yale universities and several other famous gardens.  Dumbarton Oaks is situated on a hill and Farrand used terracing throughout the estate, dividing it into "rooms."  Farrand is known for her voluptuous landscapes and she brought in many other prominent designers to work with her on the project.  In 1940, the Blisses transferred the estate to Harvard University and formed the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.  Dumbarton Oaks also opens its gardens and museum collections to the public, and hosts public lectures and a concert series.  It's a very special place and Ellen and I are so happy to have seen it.