Tudor Place in Georgetown is known for its historical significance, architectural beauty, and lush gardens. It is well worth a trip to visit when you are in Georgetown, particularly in the spring when the gardens are in full flower. The property was home to the Peter family for six generations from 1806 to 1983.
Tudor Place History
Tudor Place was originally the home of Martha Custis Peter, the granddaughter of Martha Washington (the wife of George Washington, the first President of the United States), and her husband Thomas Peter. Martha used her $8,000 inheritance from George Washington to purchase property in Georgetown in 1805. The land, comprising one city block on the crest of Georgetown Heights had an excellent view of the Potomac River. Thomas and Martha Peter hired Dr. William Thornton, the first architect of the U.S. Capital, to design their home, which was completed in 1816. The house is an excellent example of neoclassical architecture and includes Federal-style features and English Regency elements and sits now on 5.5 acres of landscaped grounds in the heart of Georgetown. If you want more information about the history of Georgetown, just click here.
Tudor Place Gardens
The estate boasts beautiful gardens with various plantings, including trees, shrubs, flowers, and walking paths. The gardens have been designed and redesigned over the years to reflect different gardening styles and historical periods. Some notable features of the gardens include:
Boxwood Parterre: This formal garden area features neatly trimmed boxwood hedges and paths arranged in geometric patterns.
Rose Garden: The rose garden is a highlight, showcasing a variety of roses and a peaceful, fragrant setting.
South Lawn: This open lawn area provides a place for visitors to relax and enjoy the outdoors, with beautiful views of the gardens and the historic house.
Orchard: Tudor Place has a lovely orchard with fruit trees, adding to the bucolic charm of the estate.
Historical Plantings: The gardens at Tudor Place include plants and trees that were popular during the time when the Peter family lived there, giving visitors a glimpse into the past.
Tudor Place continues to be a popular destination for visitors interested in history, horticulture, and the arts, offering guided tours of both the historic house and the gardens, as well as various educational programs and events. It’s a great place to explore the intersection of history and nature in the heart of Washington, D.C.
The Washington Collection
Tudor Place houses an extensive collection of art, furniture, and other historical artifacts, showcasing the lifestyle and tastes of the Peter family over several generations. The collection includes pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Washington Collection, second only to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum and Gardens’ in size, contains both finely crafted goods and humble domestic items. In materials, production techniques, and design, these objects provide excellent examples of 18th-century craftsmanship. Their mix of European-, Chinese-, and American-made elements also speaks to the nature of circum-Atlantic commerce in the 18th century and the emergence of a self-consciously “republican” aesthetic on American shores.
The collection includes 40 pieces of a Sèvres porcelain dinner and dessert service used in the first Presidential household; a Chinese export porcelain soup plate from the ca. 1784 Society of Cincinnati service; Martha Washington’s English Gothic-style china table, ca. 1750 – 75; one of two surviving American-made camp stools Washington commissioned in 1776 for use during the Revolutionary War; fragments of silk clothing, lace, and personal accessories; a 1734 silver porringer owned by Martha Washington’s son (Martha Peter’s father), John Parke Custis; and a rare wax-and-shellwork tableau presented to Martha Washington in 1783 by New York entrepreneur and tavern-keeper Samuel Fraunces.
Visitors can take guided tours of Tudor Place to learn about its history, architecture, and the lives of the Peter family. The tours often cover various rooms in the house and the gardens. An example of a seasonal tour available soon is “Death Comes to Tudor Place,” a speciality exhibition and guded tour examinging how funeral customs and burial practices evolved at Tudor Place across nearly two centuries. The Death tour begins October 3 and runs through November 5.
Tudor Place offers educational programs and events for visitors of all ages, including lectures, workshops, family programs, and special events.
Tudor Place is open to the public for tours, educational programs, and events. It serves as both a historic site and a museum. Overall, Tudor Place is a significant historical site in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., and offers visitors a glimpse into the lives and times of an influential family in American history.
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