Category British Ambassador’s Residence Washington

Henry Adams and Lady Lindsay in Washington

Within the intersecting circles of the story of the British Embassy, Henry Adams is the center point in its early history. His beloved home across from the White House brings together several elements of this Landscape of a Washington Place: the Embassy’s first landscape gardener (Elizabeth Sherman Hoyt, later Lady Lindsay); Beatrix Jones (later Farrand […]

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 […]

On the 75th Anniversary of the Washington Visit by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth

In Canada, the 75th anniversary of the Royal visit to North America is being honored this year with special commemorative coins and whiskey. In the United States, there has been little historical account of the jammed-packed two days in the District of Columbia and northern Virginia during the inaugural trip to North America of the […]