Even through the unwelcome rain guests hurried into Tudor Place Wednesday May 21st for the Twenty-Second Annual Garden Party. Tudor Place is a national historic landmark that has been standing since the year 1816. Today it is still considered one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture here in the nation’s capital and one of a very small collection of buildings designed by Dr. William Thornton; the architect of our beloved U.S. Capitol. Not only is the building itself rich with history but so are the artifacts it holds within its walls. From each generation of the Peter family came a multitude of rare antiquities; from the Thomas Cheesman engraving of George Washington to extensive family photographs displayed all over the house. The minute you walked through the front door you can feel time slowly turn back and place you in the middle of the nineteenth century.
After you pass through the house into the back garden you are welcomed by the amazing sight of delicious food and sounds of soft jazz performed by The Levine Faculty Jazz Trio. Under a large white tent, provided by Temple Portico Circle donor Marcia V. Mayo, protected from the unfortunate weather guests mingled and enjoyed their time celebrating the beginning of a wonderful night.
That night the guest of honor was Niente Ingersoll Smith for her amazing dedication to and support for the history of Washington, DC, decorative arts and architecture. Her leadership as a Tudor Place trustee and service on the many boards devoted to historical preservation earned her place as an Honorary Trustee of Tudor Place. “I am thrilled to announce that Tudor Place has received the nationally competitive Ross Merrill Award for outstanding commitment to the preservation and care of collections. Its awarded by Heritage Preservation and the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC). This prestigious national award recognizes this museums systematic and comprehensive approach to conservation over 30 years of its existence. Niente is truly emblematic of the excellence that this museum strives for and this award validates everything that she has worked for at Tudor Place over the years.” said Tudor Place Executive Director Leslie Buhler. In honor of her commitment Leslie Buhler and Timothy Matz presented Niente Smith with a painting of Tudor Place’s south façade in the romantic style of Constable by Tudor Place Trustee D. Anderson Williams.
Through the exceeding efforts of all the sponsors and supporters the event had surpassed their fundraising goal and raised over $270,000 to help maintain the historical site and assist its many educational outreach programs.