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Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC
(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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Dumbarton Oaks is a fabulous collection of gardens of a wide variety all beautifully designed. It is a spectacular use of the grounds. When we visited it was almost the end of October and the rose gar...  more »
  • I visited the garden on a rainy Wednesday afternoon and had the whole place to myself. Very easy to get to by public transportation but travel time depends on the frequency of the buses. I took the me...  more »
  • This is one of those places that makes you forget you're in an urban area...it's quite an oasis. The grounds are stunning, but several areas are under construction so I will have to come back when the...  more »