Category Robert Woods Bliss

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 […]

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 Embassy Gardens in Post-War Recovery

The Immediate Post-War Years The monarch’s birthday celebration in the gardens of British Embassy, last held in 1938, was revived in June 1947. The ambassador who greeted guests entering through the wooden Lutyens garden gate was the unconventional, if not eccentric, Archibald Clark Kerr, 1st Baron Inverchapel. Wearing white linens, he presided over a more […]

The Second World War as Seen in the Embassy Landscape

The transformation of Washington during the Second World War can be seen in structural changes at the British Embassy. Quickly assembled wartime additions to the Lutyens Chancery were erected in 1940. When those proved inadequate for the burgeoning staff’s needs, property was leased throughout the city and land bordering the Embassy’s service road and Observatory […]

The End of the Lindsay Era and the Beginning of the War Years in the Embassy’s Gardens

Ronald Lindsay retired from the British Ambassadorship in Washington and set sail for England on 30 August 1939, landing just after war was declared on Germany. Elizabeth Lindsay never saw her husband again. His work and failing health confined him to his country for the duration. He died in 1945 and was buried next to […]

The Embassy Gardens and Dumbarton Oaks

With the ridge of Clifton Hill between them, the British Embassy and Dumbarton Oaks have a shared legacy and stories, the memory of which has nearly been lost over the years. The original 19th-century estates of both sites were once part of the same Royal land grant, the Rock of Dumbarton. Before each gained renown, […]

Before their Washington Gardens: Americans in Paris

Even before her marriage to the diplomat Ronald Lindsay, Elizabeth Hoyt occupied the same worldly and cultivated social spheres as her close friends and future neighbors in Washington, Robert and Mildred Bliss of Dumbarton Oaks. Along with Hoyt’s aunt Elizabeth Cameron and the historian Henry Adams, they were bound by friendships formed in Paris and […]