Category British Embassy Gardens

The Washington Embassy in “Room for Diplomacy”

  To complement and expand on his scholarly print publication, Room for Diplomacy: Britain’s diplomatic buildings overseas 1800-2000 (Reading: Spire Books, 2011), Mark Bertram (author, architect and official in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) has produced an excellent website under the same name. It is a catalog of updated information and images of the overseas […]

Elizabeth Hoyt & Gladys Rice, Landscape Gardeners

What happened to the landscape gardening firm of Hoyt and Rice? Why didn’t the two mentees of Beatrix (Jones) Farrand, Charles Sprague Sargent and the staff at the Arnold Arboretum ever start their planned business together? While a footnote in the story of the landscape of the British Embassy, Washington, one wonders if the partnership […]

The Myths of the British Embassy II: the Location with Lutyens

The previous entry in this website surveyed the District’s Gilded Age landscape with its Beaux-Arts architecture existing on Massachusetts Avenue before the British Chancery and Ambassador’s Residence arrived in the neighborhood. This was to address misinformation about and the perplexing view that the architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, designed the United Kingdom complex in rural land […]

The Myths of the British Embassy I: the Location before Lutyens

There persists the unfortunate belief in some publications that in the 1920s the government of the United Kingdom chose a remote site with “little civilization nearby” for their new Washington Embassy. While the British with their previous diplomatic building pioneered the countryside around Connecticut Avenue—with livestock pens and crumbling Civil War barracks for neighbors—that is […]

The Thatcher Years (1979-1990)

All of the three British ambassadors posted to the United States during the Thatcher years had a personal, practical interest in the gardens. Sir Nicholas Henderson (1979-82), was an avid gardener, who during his previous appointment to Paris displayed gardening exhibitions in the British Ambassador’s residence (such as one promoting garden tools). He came to […]

Plan of the Embassy Gardens and Maps of the Area

For reference to earlier and future posts, here is a master plan of the entire grounds of the Ambassador’s Residence: And for the points of interest in the story of the landscape of the British Embassy, including Normanstone Park and Normanstone Drive, Oak Hill Cemetery, Dumbarton Oaks, the Naval Observatory, Rock Creek Park: At the […]

John Thouron, landscape architect, British Embassy

Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, came to Washington during their first United States trip as a couple in November 1985. There was overwhelming media attention at each appearance in the star-struck capital, which included the opening of the National Gallery of Art’s landmark exhibition, The Treasure Houses of Britain: 500 Years of Private […]