Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks was built as a grand residence on 53 acres. Some 16 acres remain as gardens, while the remainder was donated to the public as Dumbarton Oaks Park. It is perhaps the greatest and most famous work of the great American landscape architect Beatrix Farrand, who worked to create and adapt the garden over a 40-year period. 

The design adopts principles of the Italian renaissance: Close, highly-ordered linkages to the living spaces of the house, with individual gardens structured around the repetition of geometries and garden elements. It is this ordered repetition that enables the garden to be a gracious whole rather than a disconnected jumble of individual spaces.

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Comments
Christine Blazina October 9, 2012 5:06 PM
Although the description of Dumbarton Oaks is very positive, the following corrects some inaccuracies. In your description of Dumbarton Oaks, you note that "Some 16 acres remain as gardens, while the remainder was donated to the public as Dumbarton Oaks Park." Of the 53 acres, 16 where donated to Dumbarton Oaks Harvard University, 27 went to Dumbarton Oaks Park the National Park and the remaining 10 were sold. Of the 16 acres, there are 10 acres of garden and 6 acres of campus buildings. Another inaccuracy concerns the design of the garden. The garden's design incorporates a number of European features. Beatrix Ferrand incorporated principles of Italian design, French design, and English design. Thereby, making the garden very American in character.
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