Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dumbarton Oaks Orangery

The Orangery at Dumbarton Oaks is attached to the main house via the breezeway I pictured on Monday. However, it dates back to the mid 19th century when it was a freestanding structure and was later connected to the house in the 1923 remodel.The architect matched the federal style applied to the structure with this beautiful detailed brickwork. Like elsewhere on the estate, the lanterns are intricate ironwork with delicate leaves and swirls. The french doors must be 8 1/2' tall; Love the transoms too! Here is a detail of the cornice and one of the transom windows.
The interior has a 150 yr old fig tree (vine?) that encompasses the entire room, covering everything. You can see it here above the entrance to the space from the breezeway and how it wraps the entire space below.So lush and green, the same hexagonal clay tiles are on the floor. The lanterns are almost hidden behind all the plants. The way an orangery should be!
Two very proper french terra cotta sphinx's flank the front door. All of the plants live in large terra cotta pots. Each wall between french doors & transoms has a beautiful medallion or plaque. I love the way the fig tree has grown around them.
If you're ever free and find yourself in Georgetown, stop in to see the gardens at Dumbarton Oaks!

11 comments:

Kwana said...

Just beautiful. I'd love to spend an afternoon there.

Style Redux 2 said...

What a gorgeous post. I was in Georgetown yesterday and everything is blooming. I love D.C. all the time, but especially in the spring.

Terry said...

Dumbarton Oaks is one of those names I recognized without having a clue about what it is or where it is. Now I know. Thanks.

Merilin said...

WOW I'm speachless.. It's one of the finest orangery I've seen.

Janet said...

Orangeries are the order of the day. I can never get enough of them!

when pigs fly said...

No mention of Beatrix Farrand, the first woman landscape architect, who designed the gardens? She was the niece of Edith Wharton and her time with her aunt in Italy is evident in her life-long affair with Dumbarton Oaks. Another factoid: the music room at Dumbarton Oaks was the real beginning of what would become the UN.

ArchitectDesign said...

When pigs fly, read my post from 2 days ago, I mention both of those facts -fascinating!
I'm glad everyone liked seeing the orangery! It's my favorite part of the estate! I can't wait to see the interiors and feature more :-)

Zelda said...

absolut blast !
I use to have such orangerie in my house . very romantic place to be .

Renee Finberg said...

that is just amazing.

it is so .....magical .

thank you ,
xx

when pigs fly said...

So sorry! I think I must have left my brain by the staircase. Dumbarton Oaks is one of my favorites and this period of time is so very fascinating. I think Harvard doesn't have a clue about what a treasure this entire estate is. Thank you for showing it off and for honoring it.

YSLGuy said...

I lived in DC for over 5 years and really loved it. Thank you for showing me a bit of my old haunts. Georgetown is my favorite area of DC to walk through.

I worked as an Event Planner and we did some amazing events at another really wonderful house in Georgetown (name escapes me now). The owner survived he Hindenberg crash by jumping out of it.