Tuesday, February 3, 2009

historic house tour: tudor place


As part of Sunday's belated-birthday outing, we decided to pay a visit to Tudor Place on opening day (it was closed in January for a deep cleaning). And so you all get a surprise house tour! I had been several times before to do research, but had never taken a formal tour, so it was fun to play tourist for a change.

The elegant five-part, neoclassical house is set on 5 1/2 acres of land above Georgetown, with a view of the Potomac River. It was designed by William Thornton, the first architect of the US Capitol, for Thomas Peter and his wife Martha Custis Peter (the granddaughter of Martha Washington). The house was completed in 1816 and remained in the Peter family for almost 180 years. So naturally, it is full of treasures! Because of the close connection to the Washington family, there are over 100 objects once at Mount Vernon, including pieces of the Washington Sevres porcelain dinner service, magnificent Chinese export ceramics, George's chest-on-chest, and Martha’s Chinese Chippendale tea table (my personal favorite). Photographs were not allowed inside, but you may find some here. One of the highlights of the tour was getting to see the recently restored kitchen, which until recently had not been open to the public. The exterior of the house sports unusual buff-colored stucco over brick and a distinctive temple porch. The structure has seen very few changes over time, and so remains delightfully true to its Federal origins. For a bit more ~ enjoy!

5 comments:

Pigtown-Design said...

Is this on our list???

pve design said...

Looks like a lovely tour. I shall add this to my wish list.

Janet said...

Meg ~ not on our list for this spring. But, any time you feel like taking a trip down to DC, I would be happy to take you!

pve ~ if you are ever in Washington...let me know. It is a hidden gem.

G. said...

As an undergraduate intern I used to polish silver in that kitchen. Glad to see they've used it for exhibit space and to talk about domestic service. I'll need to make a visit soon.

Anne said...

It was a delightful surprise for a restorative day! x