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Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC

Categories: Historic Sites, Libraries, Traveler Resources, Museums, Nature & Parks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 220+ reviews on the web
Dumbarton Oaks is a historic estate in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. It was the residence and gardens of Robert Woods Bliss (1875–1962) and his wife Mildred Barnes Bliss (1879–1969).The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection was founded here by the Bliss couple, who gave the property to Harvard University in 1940. The research institute that has emerged from this bequest is dedicated to supporting scholarship in the fields of Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and garden design and landscape architecture studies, especially through its research fellowships, meetings, exhibitions, and publications. Dumbarton Oaks also opens its gardens and museum collections to the public, and hosts public lectures and a concert series.HistoryEarly HistoryThe land of Dumbarton Oaks was formerly part of the Rock of Dumbarton grant that Queen Anne made in 1702 to Colonel Ninian Beall (ca. 1625-1717). About 1801, William Hammond Dorsey (1764–1818) built the first house on the property (the central block of the existing structure) and an orangery, and in the mid-nineteenth century, Edward Magruder Linthicum (1787–1869) greatly enlarged the residence and named it The Oaks. The Oaks also was the Washington residence of U.S. Senator and Vice President John C. Calhoun (1782–1850) between 1822 and 1829.
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  • The gardens are just stunning. You can easily spend several hours wandering the various areas. Do take time to just sit and enjoy the peace and quite. The flowers still look great, so there is still t...  read more »
  • We visited on a beautiful day and enjoyed the walks. Lots of climbing up and down steps. The property is terraced, and the walkways are not always smooth, so solid footwear is helpful. But the vistas ...  read more »
  • The collection at Dumbarton Oaks is incredible. I spent hours there without even realizing it! Started the day at the Georgetown Flea Market and took a stroll over to Dumbarton Oaks. What a delight! T...  read more »
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