Dumbarton Oaks Park

Dunbarton Oaks Park occupies 27 acres of a valley through which flows a small, unnamed tributary stream of Rock Creek.

Dumbarton Oaks Park, part of the National Park System, is a park in the Georgetown neighborhood, administered by the Rock Creek Park unit of the National Capital Region of the National Park Service. The park was originally part of the estate known as Dumbarton Oaks, owned by diplomat Robert Woods Bliss and his wife Mildred Barnes Bliss from 1920 to 1940, and was included within the extensive landscape design created for the property by famed landscape architect Beatrix Farrand between 1921 and 1940.

In this valley, Farrand created a naturalistic landscape, a "wild" garden, where an abundance of herbaceous plants and spring-flowering bulbs were sown and allowed to naturalize within an open woodland along the stream and in meadows stretching across a hillside. This wild valley garden in the outer periphery of the Dumbarton Oaks estate formed the ultimate destination of a progression through its gardens, which began with formal, classical terraces near the house, and proceeded through increasingly less formal gardens down a slope before arriving at the wild garden in the valley. The meandering circulation Farrand laid out is, in essence, a circular walk, which leads a visitor through a varied, though logical, sequence of garden rooms.

DC Inventory: March 3, 1979
National Register: May 28, 1967 (with Montrose Park); amended May 12, 2004
Within Georgetown Historic District



R Street between 30th and 31st Streets, NW